The discoveries boost the list of confirmed extra-solar planets to 729, including 60 credited to the Kepler team. The telescope, launched in space in March 2009, can detect slight but regular dips in the amount of light coming from stars. Scientists can then determine if the changes are caused by orbiting planets passing by, relative to Kepler’s view.
Kepler scientists have another 2,300 candidate planets awaiting additional confirmation.
None of the newly discovered planetary systems are like our solar system, though Kepler-33, a star that is older and bigger than the Sun, comes close in terms of sheer numbers. It has five planets, compared to our solar system’s eight, but the quintet all fly closer to their parent star than Mercury orbits the Sun.
The planets range in size from about 1.5 times the diameter of Earth to five times Earth’s diameter. Scientists have not yet determined if any are solid rocky bodies like Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury or if they are filled with gas like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Strange Random Planet Quuote:
“The Sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do.” – Galileo Galilei
- NASA’s Kepler telescope finds 26 new planets (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- NASA Kepler Telescope Finds 26 New Alien Planets in 11 Solar Systems (mashable.com)
- Kepler telescope finds 11 new planetary systems, one has five planets (slashgear.com)
- Nasa’s Keplar telescope discovers 11 new planetary systems (telegraph.co.uk)
- NASA finds 11 new solar systems (revolutionizingawareness.com)
- Kepler hits jackpot, discovers 26 new planets and 11 new star systems (inquisitr.com)
- NASA mission piles on the planets (cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com)
- NASA Finds 11 New Planetary Systems (myfoxny.com)
- NASA’s Kepler mission finds 26 new planets (cbc.ca)
- NASA Finds 11 New Planetary Systems (myfoxphoenix.com)