Universe

NASA found 1,284 new planets, and 21 water planets

NASA can detect more planets than before. To use the data from the space telescope Kepler and a new procedure for statistical evaluation. NASA engineers have identified now 1,284 new extrasolar planets. A number that inspires fantasies for astrophysicists.

The head of research at NASA headquarters in Washington is more than thrilled. At a stroke, the number of bodies that could be identified as the planet thanks to the Kepler space telescope, is more than doubled. And that, says Ellen Stofan, “hope that we somewhere out there, explore a second Earth in the vicinity of a star like our Sun, makes us”. In the summer of last year only Kepler had discovered a “second Earth”.

Hope for planets with good living conditions similar to those on Earth is that the number of planets that could enable a kind of life at all is probably much higher than thought just a few years ago. Alone Kepler made already 4.302 candidates in his 2009 launched flight through space. 984 of them had already missed the label “Planet” researchers.

The evidence was but complicated. Now, the thing a new statistical method has become much easier.

Researchers results giving hope and new objectives

A planet is a celestial body which revolves in an orbit around a Sun and has the minimum mass, which makes him appear largely spherical. He must be the dominant object on its orbit. Celestial bodies, which instead of as soon of a solar system orbiting around another star, but otherwise satisfy these conditions, called extrasolar or Exo-planets for short time. And the 1284 new once found are exactly of this kind.

telescope Kepler
The space telescope Kepler draws his circles at a distance of 120 million kilometers from the Earth and looking for extra-solar planets. Photo: Nasa

Whether it really is observed objects planets, is in the substantially determined by examining changes in light. Whenever planets from the telescope out seen before the star walk, a blackout is registered. Is still no clear evidence for the existence of a planet, because other factors can cause this phenomenon.

“Are we alone in the universe?”

The new procedure, developed by Timothy Morton at Princeton University, but now uses experience gained from previous discoveries of Kepler faster reliably interpret the data. Sure enough anyway, to reduce the likelihood of classification to over 99 percent increase, and that is the limit, astronomers, before they say: Yes, it’s a planet.

For the head of the Astrophysics Division of NASA, Paul Hertz, has brought the space telescope Kepler in his seven years extremely valuable insights: “before the telescope was launched, we didn’t know whether extrasolar planets rarely or frequently occur in our galaxy.

Now we know that there are more planets as stars might ” And that, says Hertz, bring the research much closer to the answer to the question: “are we alone in the universe?”

Now we found 21 exoplanets with water (more likely)

“Kepler” is the first NASA mission, which directly aims, finding potentially habitable planets. Among the nearly 1300 newly discovered are about 550, its rocky surface structure similar to that of the Earth. And nine of these are basically habitable zone of Sun, according to NASA. Do you mean: the temperature on the surface of the planet is so that water could collect in liquid form there. The decisive prerequisite for life. The exclusive club of such exoplanets has grown at least already on 21.