Washington: NASA and Google announced a “major discovery”on Thursday: another solar system with eight planets. That finding is due to the discovery of a new planet, Kepler-90i – a hot, rocky orb circling a sun-like star called Kepler-90, which is 2,545 light-years from Earth.
The space organisation announced on Thursday that the space agency’s Kepler Space Telescope, for the first time, has discovered an eighth planet in an alien solar system, meaning it has at least as many worlds as our own solar system, reports the Independent.
Kepler has confirmed that other stars can have large amounts of planets orbiting it, just like our own sun. The star and its solar system were already known about, having been detected by the Kepler space telescope. But the breakthrough came when astronomers found the two new worlds, which was done using Google’s artificial intelligence technology.
NASA said, “Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analysing Kepler data.” Kepler-90i is the smallest of the planets in that alien solar system.
The new planet, estimated to be about 30 per cent larger than Earth, is ‘not a place you’d like to visit,’ explains Andrew Vanderburg, astronomer and NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas, Austin.
The space telescope has been reporting back to Earth since it was launched in 2009 and has made many discoveries about the planets beyond our solar system.