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Started by pr126, December 03, 2015, 09:06:33 AM

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Updated Kepler Catalog Includes 521 New Possible Exoplanets
QuoteEarlier today, during the announcement of the most Earth-like planet ever discovered, researchers working on the Kepler mission released an updated catalogâ€"which now includes 521 new candidate planets. Add that to the 4,175 already discovered by the space-based telescope.

Kepler is truly turning out to be an extraordinary planet hunter. The space-based telescope has now detected 4,696 objects of interest, including the new candidate planets. Confirmation of the new super-Earth brings the total number of known planets to 1,030. The data analyzed by the scientists was captured by Kepler from May 2009 to May 2013, a four year span.

The new catalogâ€"the seventh to be released by the Kepler team, and the first since January 2015â€"is the first to be fully automated. Typically, the first step in the planet hunting process is to find signals that show periodic dips in brightness (i.e. the transit method of exoplanetary detection), followed by a more thorough analysis in which KOIs, or Kepler Objects of Interest, are highlighted for future study. This second step is traditionally handled by a team of scientists, but that can be tremendously time consuming.

But now, NASA has written an automated software program that effectively replicates this tedious process. As a result, planet hunters are able to assess all the Kepler planets in a more uniform and coherent fashion.

Hakurei Reimu

The best part about this is the automation! That means we're going to get this stuff rolling in. Seeking exoplanets was essentially drudge-work: look for the periodicities in proper motion, dopplar effect, occulsion, or microlensing. Very tedious. Good we got computers to be on that noise.
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