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NASA discovers new planet 2500 light years away, thanks to Google AI

16 December 2017

As for Kepler-90, its planetary system could have more than eight planets, the scientists pointed out - they could just lie farther away from the star and not have orbited enough times for Kepler to have spotted them during its primary mission.

Google used data collected by NASA's exoplanet-hunter, the Kepler Space Telescope, to develop its machine-learning computer program. One light-year equals about 9.5 trillion kilometers (5.8 trillion miles.) The rocky planet is much close to the Kepler-90 star than earth is to our sun and orbits it once every 14.4 days.

The Kepler Space Telescope has been utilized for many years for searching exoplanets, and planets outside our solar system in the deep sea of space.

"Just as we expected, there are exciting discoveries lurking in our archived Kepler data, waiting for the right tool or technology to unearth them", said Paul Hertz, director of NASA's Astrophysics Division in Washington.

Google AI researcher Christopher Shallue and Andrew, an astrophysicist from UT Austin, worked together to teach a machine learning system how to analyse a trove of data collected by Kepler. It is the first star known to support as many planets as are orbiting our own sun, and researchers believe that this is the first of many to come. Consequently, Kepler-90i has an average surface temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and is not a likely place for life as we know it.

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A graphic showing all of Kepler-90's planets bunched near their star, in comparison to our solar system. In the Kepler 90 system, the most distant gas giant is 93 million miles from its star, the same distance from Earth to the sun. That put the Kepler-90 system in a tie with the seven-planet Trappist-1 system for the honour of most populous known exoplanet solar system.

Alphabet Inc's Google and NASA said on Thursday that advanced computer analysis identified two new planets around distant stars, including one that is part of the first star system with as many planets as Earth's solar system.

In recent years, to tackle data analysis in science, finance and other industries by automated software is possible due to advancements in hardware and new techniques in machine learning.

How did Google use its machine learning tech? .

Launched in March 2009, Kepler is NASA's first mission to find potentially habitable Earth-size planets.

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"Kepler 90i is a G0 star a bit lighter than our Sun", said Vanderburg.

The planets in our system are far more spread out, however. In comparison, Mercury's orbit is 88 days.

NASA's Ames Research Center is located in California's Silicon Valley.

The neural network is trained on 15,000 signals from the Kepler dataset that have been previously verified as planets or non-planets.

"If you have a finer sieve then you will catch more rocks, but you might catch more jewels, as well", he added.

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"In my spare time, I started Googling for "finding exoplanets with large data sets" and found out about the Kepler mission and the huge data set available", he said. They found that the computer was able to identify which signals were of plants 96 per cent of the times. That's the downside of the transiting method; even if multiple planets are orbiting a star that the telescope is pointed at, it will only see them if the the planets pass directly in front of the star - it's all about line-of-sight.

NASA discovers new planet 2500 light years away, thanks to Google AI