A Solar Systems Similar to Ours Discovered by NASA

A Solar Systems Similar to Ours Discovered by NASA


With the discovery of an eighth planet, the Kepler-90 system is the first to tie with our solar system in number of planets. Credits: NASA/Wendy Stenzel

A 8-planet Solar System Discovered Using Artificial Intelligence

Using artificial intelligence for new discoveries, NASA scientists and Google engineers discovered eight planets circling a Sun-like star.

The agency announced Thursday that the new discovered Solar System could be very similar to ours, the last one not being the only one of its kind in the cosmos.

Kepler-90i is part of the Kepler-90 solar system, unfortunaetly this rocky planet that orbits its star once every 14.4 days is inhabitable.

It is about 30 percent larger than Earth and so close to its star that its average surface temperature is believed to exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit, on par with Mercury.

“The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer,” said Vanderburg, a NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow and astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin.

Google’s research team Google AI, came up with the idea to apply a neural network to Kepler data: ““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. Machine learning really shines in situations where there is so much data that humans can’t search it for themselves,” said Shallue, a senior software engineer on Google’s research team.

Kepler’s four-year dataset consists of 35,000 possible planetary signals. Shallue and Vanderburg thought there could be more interesting exoplanet discoveries faintly lurking in the data.

“We got lots of false positives of planets, but also potentially more real planets,” said Vanderburg. “It’s like sifting through rocks to find jewels. If you have a finer sieve then you will catch more rocks but you might catch more jewels, as well.”

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