The Kepler-90 planetary system now matches our solar system for the number of planets within the system. Image credit: NASA/Ames Research Centre/W. Stenzel
Our Solar System is no longer the frontrunner for the ‘most number of planets orbiting a single star’. This comes after news that Google-led artificial intelligence discovered a new world around the star Kepler-90, 2,545 light years from Earth. The eighth planet was found amongst the vast data collected by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.
The recently discovered exoplanet – a planet outside of our solar system – Kepler-90i, is a rocky planet that is roasted due to the close proximity to its host star, completing one orbiting every 14.4 days. This planet was discovered in an unusual and impressive fashion, as it was found by using a machine learning approach created by Google. As the Kepler data set is so massive, the tech giant put this technique to the test by searching for changes in starlight caused by planets passing in front of their stars.
“Just as we expected, there are exciting discoveries lurking in our archived Kepler data, waiting for the right tool or technology to unearth them,” says Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division in ...