NASA discovers more than 700 new planets
Sunday, March 2, 2014, 11:02
We may have lost Pluto in the official "planet count" but NASA made huge gains last week.
Scientists announced the discovery of 715 new planets on Wednesday, nearly the same amount of planets we already had knowledge of previously.
The new planets orbit around distant stars and four of them seem to be the right temperature for water to form which could make them suitable for life. Scientists also explained that these planets are roughly the size of Earth which means that the force of gravity would be in a range that human-like creatures could comfortably live.
The team that studied the two years of data collection consisted of 36 astronomers, data analysts and planetary scientists. They have submitted their findings for publication in two different papers and are discussing their findings in several conferences scheduled in the near future.
The data was collected using the Kepler telescope, before it malfunction in 2013. Scientists are now seeking funds to continue their research for another two years.
The planets, much like our own Earth, are part of their own solar systems, with groups of planets orbiting around different stars. None of them reach the size of Neptune, the fourth largest planet in our Solar System.