NASA and Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Thursday that advanced computer analysis identified two new planets around distant stars, including one that is part of the first-star system with as many planets as Earth’s solar system. That finding is due to the discovery of a new planet, Kepler-90i - a hot, rocky orb circling a sun-like star called Kepler-90, which is 2,545 light-years from Earth.
The planet was found using a machine-learning system from Google, which was put to work sifting through data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft. Kepler is a space telescope that trails the Earth in orbit around the sun, has stared down 145,000 sun-like stars over the years to look for signs of distant planets. The research by Google and the University of Texas at Austin that used data from NASA raised the prospects of new insights into the universe by feeding the data into computer programs that can churn through information faster and more in-depth than humanly possible, a technique known as 'machine learning'. Astronomers had never before observed an eight-planet network beside the solar system that includes Earth, researchers said.
“As the application of neutral networks to Kepler data matures, who knows what might be discovered,” said Jessie Dotson, a NASA project scientist for the Kepler space telescope. “I‘m on the edge of my seat.”
We can't wait to see what comes out of this collaboration.