NASA verifies 1,284 new planets, 9 in their sun's “habitable zone”

WASHINGTON, May 10 (KUNA)– The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Tuesday the verification of 1,284 new planets from which 550 are rocky planets like Earth.
The discovery was made by NASA’s space telescope mission Kepler which launched in 2009 to our plant’s orbit in order to observe our galaxy, the Milky Way, of potential planets and today’s announcement brings the total number of discovered and verified planets to more than 3,200, from which the Kepler verified 2,325.
“This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth,” said chief scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington Ellen Stofan in a press conference announcing the discovery that is considered the single largest findings of planets in our history.
To be considered a planet, the probability rate has to exceed 99 percent according to NASA and data was scarce to confirm whether planets were common or rare in our galaxy.
But, “thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars,” said Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters Paul Hertz. “This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever-closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe,” Hertz added.
In the newly-validated batch of planets, nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth, based on their size and nine orbit in their sun’s “habitable zone” where which they could have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool. The Kepler, was launched in March 2009 and is the first NASA mission “to find potentially habitable Earth-size planets,” and since its launched, it has monitored “over 150,000 stars in a single batch of the sky, measuring tiny, telltale dip in the brightness of a star that can be produced by a transiting planet.” (end) yt.gta