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95 New Planets Discovered Outside the Solar System
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An international team of scientists working on NASA’s K2 mission has discovered 95 new planets just beyond our solar system – and those join the thousands of others already identified. The team is committed to finding out what planets outside our own system are like and wants to find out if any have atmospheres like our own. Specifically, they’re looking for carbon dioxide and other elements that are common in ours.
“There are no surprises, per se, but it’s a great new haul of planets, and plenty of fodder for exploring the individual systems within the catalog,” said Jessie Christiansen, an astronomer at NASA’s Exoplanet Archive.
The Kepler Telescope, which suffered a mechanical failure in 2013 after picking up thousands of dim planets and stars, has since been repaired and repurposed – and it’s what NASA’s K2 mission is relying on. It currently observes one region of space for a few months at a time, and then it switches things up to pick up brighter, closer planets and stars.
One of the new exoplanets NASA is looking at is orbiting around the star HD 212657. That’s the brightest star found by Kepler or K2. There’s a great diversity in the planets NASA has discovered in deep space, though – they range from Earth-like planets to gas giants like Jupiter.
What Do You Think?
Have you been keeping up with NASA’s latest discoveries in deep space? They’ve found approximately 3,700 exoplanets in about 2,700 solar systems across the universe, and they’re discovering more each day. I’d love to hear your thoughts on space exploration and the possibilities that are out there, so please share your thoughts on Twitter or my Facebook page.