It’s a huge discovery which places the current number of alien planets confirmed close to 3,600. The discovery is important for astronomers to map the solar systems of the Milky Way.
Astronomers exploring the cosmos have confirmed the existence of 95 new alien planets after combing through 275 possible candidates provided by NASA’s Kepler Telescope.
The space probe, which is currently on its K2 mission has found thousands of candidates since it was launched nearly ten years ago, when it launched from Cape Canaveral on March 7th, 2009. As noted by mission specialists. In total, Kepler has found around 5,000 unconfirmed ‘candidate’ exoplanets.
One of the most significant discoveries made by Kepler took place in 2004 when it spotted exoplanet Kepler-452b, dubbed ‘Earth 2.0’, an alien world eerily similar to our planet, located 1,400 light years away.
The new discovery is of great importance as it is a huge step towards finding a new Earth, capable of hosting life as we know it.
The study was done by an international group of scientists led by Dr. Andrew Mayo from the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark.
Dr. Mayo said in a statement that the investigation began with the analysis of 275 exoplanet candidates. These candidates are luminous signals whose origin can be related to other stars or errors of the telescope and that, therefore, must be analyzed in depth before being confirmed as exoplanets.
“We found that some of the signals were caused by systems of several stars and/or by the noise of the telescope. But we also detect planets of all sizes: from worlds smaller than Earth to larger than Jupiter,” Mayo said in a statement.
“By increasing the number of planets discovered with K2 by almost 50 percent, this work will help astronomers dive much deeper into analyzing and learning about individual planets, particularly smaller exoplanets,” Dr. Mayo said in an interview with Gizmodo.
One of the recently spotted worlds orbits a very bright alien star.
‘We validated a planet on a 10-day orbit around a star called HD 212657, which is now the brightest star found by either the Kepler or K2 missions to host a validated planet. Planets around bright stars are important because astronomers can learn a lot about them from ground-based observatories,’ said Dr. Mayo.
‘Exoplanets are a very exciting field of space science. As more planets are discovered, astronomers will develop a much better picture of the nature of exoplanets which in turn will allow us to place our own solar system into a galactic context’.
Source: Science Daily