Our galaxy gets more crowded as NASA finds 715 new planets

  • Living
  • Friday, 28 Feb 2014

Are we alone in the universe? NASA’s discovery of 715 new planets beyond the solar system suggests the answer is: No, we're not alone.  

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have announced that scientists have found more than 715 new planets to add to the list of known worlds beyond the solar system, boosting the overall tally to nearly 1,700,

The additions include four planets about 2-1/2 times as big as Earth that are the right distance from their parent stars for liquid surface water, which is believed to be key for life.

The discoveries were made with the NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope before it was sidelined by a pointing system problem last year.

The telescope, launched in 2009, spent four productive years staring at 160,000 target stars for signs of planets passing by, relative to the telescope’s line of sight.

An artist's composite of the Kepler telescope. Reuters/NASA.

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