Desk: The US space agency NASA said on Thursday that its Kepler space telescope and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) have discovered another solar system in the space. The agency further stated that it has as many planets as our own.
In a statement, NASA said, “Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star.” However, no life is expected to be found in the planets.
The 8-planet system orbits a star called ‘Kepler 90’ some 2,545 light-years away. An astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin, Andrew Vanderburg said, “The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer.”
The newly identified planet, ‘Kepler-90i’ is a rocky planet like Earth, but orbit its star once every 14.4 days which means a full year there is the same as 2 weeks on Earth. The US space research center calculated its average temperature as about 800 degrees Fahrenheit (426 Celsius), as hot as Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun.
According to the reports, by using machine learning from Google, the scientists found the information about the presence of the solar system and planet. The process involved teaching a computer to scan a trove of 35,000 possible planetary signals collected from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope which search for signs of planetary transits. ‘Transits’ are the dimming of light when planets pass in front of a star.
Meanwhile, astronomers have already confirmed the existence of some 2,500 far-away worlds using the Kepler data. Following this discussion, a senior software engineer with Google’s research team, Christopher Shallue said, “I became interested in applying neural networks to astronomy when I learned that the Kepler mission had collected so much data that it was impossible for scientists to examine it all manually.” He further added, “Machine learning really shines when there is too much data for humans to examine for themselves.”
Notably, more planets are expected to be found as the researchers plan to apply their neural network to Kepler’s full set of more than 150,000 stars. Following this context, Vanderburg said, “For the first time since our solar system planets were discovered thousands of years ago, we know for sure that the solar system is not the sole record holder for the most planets, and we have just scratched the surface.” Noteworthy, the findings are published in The Astronomical Journal.