NASA to make announcement on new discovery from planet-hunting mission

NASA to make announcement on new discovery from planet-hunting mission

NASA to make announcement on new discovery from planet-hunting mission

An official announcement on the NASA website said it is gearing up for a teleconference to reveal a major breakthrough made by the Kepler space telescope, which is now hunting the universe for exoplanets.

'Are we alone? Maybe Kepler today has told us indirectly, although we need confirmation, that we are probably not alone, ' Kepler scientist Mario Perez said in a news conference. But it will nearly certainly relate to exoplanets - Earth-sized worlds that orbit around their own stars, and are our best hope of finding alien life.

The U.S. space agency reports in a news release that this new discovery was made with help from machine learning from Google.

The Kepler telescope was launched in 2009, when scientists didn't know how many exoplanets there were.

The discovery will be announced at a media teleconference on December 14, NASA said.

Kepler completed its prime mission in 2012 and went on to collect data for an additional year in an extended mission. This has confirmed the existence of 178 exoplanets to date, with 515 further potential planets. This has afforded new opportunities to research not only exoplanets, but also young stars, supernovae, and other celestial bodies.

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NASA hasn't yet announced what they'll be revealing, but in a statement they did say it was related to machine learning.

Three planets pass between the telescope and Kepler-11, August 26, 2010. According to reports, most of these discoveries were made between 2009 - 2013.

It is thought the announcement will revolve around exoplanets - Earth-sized planets that orbit around their own stars. They include Paul Hertz, who leads Nasa's astrophysics division, a senior Google software engineer, and two scientists.

Experts from both NASA and Google are expected to be in attendance to explain this latest find, which is speculated to be big news.

"The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google", reads a release from the space agency, adding that the breakthrough "demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data".

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