Using a new algorithm that analyzes data from the Kepler/K2 telescopes, scientists have discovered nearly 400 previously unknown ghostly planets lurking around Earth.
The new algorithm, developed by Professor Erik Petifura from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California at Los Angeles (USA), allows the detection of up to 747 planets in 57 multi-planet systems and many single-planet systems. in data from NASA’s Kepler/K2 mission. The new algorithm eliminates previously confounding signals, thereby capturing the smallest changes in the brightness of stars and revealing the truth about what orbits them.
The self-propelled Kepler telescope was launched into space in 2009 and has discovered countless planets in the universe, thereby “revolutionizing” humanity’s understanding of the universe. The Kepler telescope shows that about 20-50% of stars visible in the night sky may have minor planets orbiting and lying within the habitable zones of their parent stars.
NASA’s Kepler/K2 telescope mission has long been completed, but what this telescope observed before it stopped working is a huge treasure for astronomers. Amazingly, among the identified planetary systems there are 366 previously unknown ghost planets. The most interesting of the newly discovered planets are two gas giant planets equivalent to Saturn in the same planetary system. Unfortunately, scientists have yet to find any planet with Earth-like features or potentially habitable in this massive database.
NASA stressed that Kepler’s mission may be over, but the telescope’s findings will be studied for many years to come.