715 New Worlds

NASA’s Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds by Michele Johnson and J.D. Harrington.

From the post:

NASA’s Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system.

Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known small-sized planets more akin to Earth than previously identified exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system.

“The Kepler team continues to amaze and excite us with their planet hunting results,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “That these new planets and solar systems look somewhat like our own, portends a great future when we have the James Webb Space Telescope in space to characterize the new worlds.”

Since the discovery of the first planets outside our solar system roughly two decades ago, verification has been a laborious planet-by-planet process. Now, scientists have a statistical technique that can be applied to many planets at once when they are found in systems that harbor more than one planet around the same star.

What have you discovered lately? 😉

The papers: http://www.nasa.gov/ames/kepler/digital-press-kit-kepler-planet-bonanza.

More about Kepler: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler.

Great discoveries but what else is in the Kepler data that no one is looking for?

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