First Alien Solar System With Eight Planets Found

First Alien Solar System With Eight Planets Found

First Alien Solar System With Eight Planets Found

The eighth planet in the Kepler-90 system has been named Kepler-90i. Thanks to the Google Artificial Intelligence, the team was able to look at NASA's data and discover the vast rock. According to them, it is small, "sizzling" hot and rocky, and it takes 14.4 Earth-days to surround its star.

They did it by using a computer that "learned" to find planets in data from NASA's Kepler space telescope.

NASA provided the AI with data collected by its Kepler Space Telescope.

But there is only so much one telescope can see when human astronomers are required to search through the data, which is why artificial intelligence (AI) has made huge strides in our search. It is the first star known to support as many planets as are orbiting our own sun, and researchers believe that this is the first of many to come.

The convolutional neural network was trained to look out for periodic changes in the brightness of a star, which hinted at a nearby planet regularly passing in front of its parent star during its orbit. It is also 30 per cent larger than Earth and has an average surface temperature of over 800 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to Mercury.

For the first time, another solar system has been found in our galaxy with eight planets, just like our own - and it was Google's artificial intelligence that found it. "You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer", said Andrew Vanderburg, NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow and astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin.

We can't claim our solar system is unique anymore.

Using Google machine learning, NASA discovered an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a sun-like star 2,545 light-years from Earth.

In recent years, to tackle data analysis in science, finance and other industries by automated software is possible due to advancements in hardware and new techniques in machine learning.

The find sets a new record for the most exoplanets around a single star and, for the first time, ties with our own.

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"This is a really exciting discovery, and we consider it to be a successful proof of concept to be using neural networks to identify planets, even in challenging situations where the signals are very weak", said Christopher Shallue, a senior software engineer at Google in Mountain View, California.

NASA and Google also held a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on Thursday to answer public questions.

The eighth planet discovered by the scientists is, in fact, the third in the Kepler-90 System's order.

After the neural network was trained manually to identify passing exoplanets by analyzing 15,000 signals from the Kepler catalogue, it started giving correct results for true planets and false positives in 96 percent of cases.

The planets in our system are far more spread out, however. "If you have a finer sieve then you will catch more rocks but you might catch more jewels, as well", he said.

Researchers had known that seven planets were orbiting the star.

Their research paper reporting these findings has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

"This finding shows that our data will be a treasure trove available to innovative researchers for years to come".

NASA astrophysicist Jessie Dotson, the Kepler project scientist, is "so excited to see where this goes next".

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