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Kepler Identifies 706 New Possible Alien Worlds
Quote:Officials at the American space agency announce that their Kepler planet-hunting telescope managed to send back no less than 706 potential hits in its quest for alien worlds. These readings have not yet been confirmed as exoplanets. However, if they are, then it means that Kepler managed to nearly triple the number of known exoplanets in one fell swoop. At this point, astronomers have only validated the existence of 461 planets orbiting stars outside the solar system. Astronomers are currently analyzing the Kepler data in detail, to see which of the datasets turns out to actually refer to a planet, Space reports.

“This is the most precise, nearly continuous, longest and largest data set of stellar photometry ever. The results will only get better as the duration of the data set grows with time,” the deputy principal investigator of the Kepler mission, David Koch, explains in a statement. The expert holds an appointment at the Moffett Field, California-based NASA Ames Research Center. He adds that the patch of sky Kepler was in charge of investigating features no less than 156,000 stars. Even so, it only covers a minute part of the entire night sky, so undoubtedly the number of existing exoplanets is a lot larger

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