Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EXO WORLDS
Kepler space telescope finds another 1284 exo planets
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) May 11, 2016


illustration only

NASA's Kepler mission has verified 1,284 new planets - the single largest finding of planets to date. "This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler," said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth."

Analysis was performed on the Kepler space telescope's July 2015 planet candidate catalog, which identified 4,302 potential planets. For 1,284 of the candidates, the probability of being a planet is greater than 99 percent - the minimum required to earn the status of "planet."

An additional 1,327 candidates are more likely than not to be actual planets, but they do not meet the 99 percent threshold and will require additional study. The remaining 707 are more likely to be some other astrophysical phenomena. This analysis also validated 984 candidates that have previously been verified by other techniques.

"Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy. Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars," said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters. "This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever-closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe."

Kepler captures the discrete signals of distant planets - decreases in brightness that occur when planets pass in front of, or transit, their stars - much like the May 9 Mercury transit of our sun. Since the discovery of the first planets outside our solar system more than two decades ago, researchers have resorted to a laborious, one-by-one process of verifying suspected planets.

This latest announcement, however, is based on a statistical analysis method that can be applied to many planet candidates simultaneously. Timothy Morton, associate research scholar at Princeton University in New Jersey and lead author of the scientific paper published in The Astrophysical Journal, employed a technique to assign each Kepler candidate a planet-hood probability percentage - the first such automated computation on this scale, as previous statistical techniques focused only on sub-groups within the greater list of planet candidates identified by Kepler.

"Planet candidates can be thought of like bread crumbs," said Morton. "If you drop a few large crumbs on the floor, you can pick them up one by one. But, if you spill a whole bag of tiny crumbs, you're going to need a broom. This statistical analysis is our broom."

In the newly validated batch of planets, nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth based on size. Nine of these orbit in their sun's habitable zone, which is the distance from a star where orbiting planets can have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool. With the addition of these nine, 21 exoplanets are now known to be members of this exclusive group.

"They say not to count our chickens before they're hatched, but that's exactly what these results allow us to do based on probabilities that each egg (candidate) will hatch into a chick (bona fide planet)," said Natalie Batalha, co-author of the paper and the Kepler mission scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

"This work will help Kepler reach its full potential by yielding a deeper understanding of the number of stars that harbor potentially habitable, Earth-size planets - a number that's needed to design future missions to search for habitable environments and living worlds."

Of the nearly 5,000 total planet candidates found to date, more than 3,200 now have been verified, and 2,325 of these were discovered by Kepler.

Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the first NASA mission to find potentially habitable Earth-size planets. For four years, Kepler monitored 150,000 stars in a single patch of sky, measuring the tiny, telltale dip in the brightness of a star that can be produced by a transiting planet. In 2018, NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will use the same method to monitor 200,000 bright nearby stars and search for planets, focusing on Earth and Super-Earth-sized.

For briefing materials from Tuesday's media teleconference where the new group of planets was announced, please visit here

Research paper: "False Positive Probabilities for All Kepler Objects of Interest: 1,284 Newly Validated Planets and 428 Likely False Positives," Timothy D. Morton, Stephen T. Bryson, Jeffrey L. Coughlin, Jason F. Rowe, Ganesh Ravichandran, Erik A. Petigura, Michael R. Haas and Natalie M. Batalha, 2016 May 10, Astrophysical Journal


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Kepler
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EXO WORLDS
Three potentially habitable worlds found around nearby ultracool dwarf star
Brussels, Belgium (SPX) May 09, 2016
A team of astronomers led by Michael Gillon, of the Institut d'Astrophysique et Geophysique at the University of Liege in Belgium, have used the Belgian TRAPPIST telescope to observe the star 2MASS J23062928-0502285, now also known as TRAPPIST-1. They found that this dim and cool star faded slightly at regular intervals, indicating that several objects were passing between the star and the Earth ... read more


EXO WORLDS
NASA research gives new insights into how the Moon got inked

First rocket made ready for launch at Vostochny spaceport

Supernova iron found on the moon

Russia to shift all Lunar launches to Vostochny Cosmodrome

EXO WORLDS
Flying observatory detects atomic oxygen in Martian atmosphere

Clues about Volcanoes Under Ice on Ancient Mars

Second ExoMars mission moves to next launch opportunity in 2020

Although Boiling, Water Does Shape Martian Terrain

EXO WORLDS
No more space race for US, rivalry gives way to collaboration

NASA Awards Contract for Aeronautics, Exploration Modeling, Simulation

Michael Watkins Named Next JPL Director

US to move more assets into deep space over next 4 years

EXO WORLDS
Long March-7 rocket delivered to launch site

China's space technology extraordinary, impressive says Euro Space Center director

China can meet Chile's satellite needs: ambassador

China launches Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket

EXO WORLDS
NASA, Space Station partners announce future mission crew members

New landing date for ESA astronaut Tim Peake

Tim Peake goes roving

Russia delays space crew's return to Earth

EXO WORLDS
SpaceX lands rocket's first stage after space launch

SpaceX successfully lands rockets first stage after space launch

Agreement Signed for Airbus Safran Launchers

SpaceX to launch Japanese satellite early Friday

EXO WORLDS
Scientists discover potentially habitable planets

MIT compiles list of potential gases to guide search for life on exoplanets

Three potentially habitable worlds found around nearby ultracool dwarf star

Light Echoes Give Clues to Protoplanetary Disk

EXO WORLDS
Accelerating complex computer simulations: thinking beyond ones and zeros

Airbus Defence and Space to lead TeSeR, next EU project to clean up space

Army investigating new materials for explosive, propellant use

Engineers create a better way to boil water




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement