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ANOTHER EARTH: NASA’s A.I. Discovers Kepler-90 Solar System Filled with as Many Rocky and Gas Giant Planets as Our Own Located 2,545 Light-Years from Earth in the Draco Constellation


This article is about the Kepler-90 system in the Draco Constellation. The TRAPPIST-1 sysetm is another “Earth-Sun” like solar system referenced at the end of this article.

NASA Kepler 90 discovery: Spacecraft Finds Entire New Solar System Similar to Earth’s With Family of Planets

kepler-90.jpg

Indeed, the Kepler-90 system might have more planets in it that we have not been able to spot yet. The same has been suggested of our own solar system – leading the two to be linked in a race to find which of them might in fact be bigger.

The planets in the solar system are much more close together than they are in our own, but it is very stable. “The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer,” said Vanderburg, a Nasa Sagan postdoctoral fellow and astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Kepler-90 system is 2,500 lightyears away and is not a particularly good candidate for finding life. But the discovery about the sheer number of planets in each solar system does improve the chances of finding it, simply by suggesting that there could be far more exoplanets than we ever thought.

At the same time as they found the important new Kepler-90 planet – described as a sizzling-hot world that orbits around its star every 14.4 days – astronomers also found another planet around the Kepler-80 star.

The new planets – just like all of the thousands found by Kepler – were spotted by watching the sky for light coming from the stars. When planets pass in front of their stars, scientists can register the dimming as they go, and use the speed and characteristics of that dimming to work out what the solar system might actually look like.

Much of that work relies on pattern recognition, which until now has been done by scientists looking through the data. But the new findings are the result of work between Nasa and Google, which trained machine learning algorithms to learn to spot those patterns itself and so pick through the data much more quickly.

To train up the algorithms, the Google AI was shown 15,000 signals that have already been checked. It could then look through other, unverified data and look for those same patterns. This is thought to be the first time that neural networks of this kind were used to find planets in the Kepler data.

Scientists hope to use that same AI technology with the rest of the Kepler data set, as well as data from other telescopes. Kepler has been looking at one patch of space for four years, but is now moving around the rest of the sky and sending further information back down to Earth – all of which contains potential planets, and so will benefit from being looked at by Google’s artificial intelligence.

“These results demonstrate the enduring value of Kepler’s mission,” said Jessie Dotson, Kepler’s project scientist at Nasa’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “New ways of looking at the data – such as this early-stage research to apply machine learning algorithms – promise to continue to yield significant advances in our understanding of planetary systems around other stars. I’m sure there are more firsts in the data waiting for people to find them.”

 

 

 

 

 

NASA announcement: Agency finds ENTIRE solar system filled with planets using AI

By Charlotte Ikonen / Daily Star The space agency live streamed a press conference from Washington DC to announce a new discovery by its Kepler telescope.It confirmed its planet hunting equipment has found an entire solar system with as many planets as our own.New planets were discovered around the Kepler-90 star, which looks like our own sun.The star and its solar system were already known.But the breakthrough came when astronomers found new worlds, which was done using Google’s artificial intelligence technology.
NASA-KeplerNASAREVEALED: Kepler-90 has at least eight planets – the same amount as our own solar system
That suggests that there might be whole worlds and solar systems hiding within the data already collected, but which we hadn’t been able to notice because there is so many signals to pick through.Kepler has four-years of data from looking at the sky, and 35,000 possible planetary signals – far more than humans could ever look through.“Just as we expected, there are exciting discoveries lurking in our archived Kepler data, waiting for the right tool or technology to unearth them,” said Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division in Washington.
“This finding shows that our data will be a treasure trove available to innovative researchers for years to come.”The Kepler 90i is one of the new planets, and orbits its star every 14 days.It is 2,545 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Draco.It’s about 30% larger than Earth and is so close to its own sun that temperatures soar to 800 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to burn humans alive almost instantaneously.It’s proximity to its parent star means it’s extremely unlikely to support any kind of alien life.
NASA-announcement GETTYMAJOR DISCOVERY: NASA has made a major discovery with the Kepler space telescope
Researcher Andrew Vanderburg said he would be surprised if there wasn’t even more planets lurking to add to the solar systems.He also said that it “almost certainly won’t be the last” system that has eight planets, suggesting our own solar system isn’t really all that extraordinary.A NASA spokesman said: “Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light years from Earth.”

NASA discover LIGHTS on drawf planet Ceres

“This finding shows that our data will be a treasure trove available to innovative researchers for years to come”

NASA

Christopher Shallue, senior software engineer at Google AI in Mountain View, California, said turning the technology onto Kepler’s findings means that the researchers are picking up on planets they might otherwise have missed.

“To train our neural network we used 15,000 signals from Kepler data that had already been examined,” Shallue said.

Searching 672 stars, the AI program was able to pick up signals of two new planets.

ExoplanetNASAEXOLANET: an illustration of the different elements in NASA’s exoplanet program
Finding a planetary system that rivals our own is a big step in planetary science.But the NASA engineers believe there may even be solar systems with more than that.There could well be systems out there with ten or more exoplanets orbiting their parent star.Kepler launched back in March 2009, and it’s become one of NASA’s main pieces of kit.

When it launched, scientists didn’t know how common planets were beyond our solar system.

Thanks to the discoveries it’s made, astronomers now believe there may be at least one planet orbiting every star in the sky.

It uses a technique called the “transit method” of planet finding.

That means, it spots the tiny blockage of light that occurs when a planet passes in front of the star.

It’s called transiting and if the telescope spots repeated transits at regular times it must mean an orbit and therefore a planet.

Similar announcements in the past have yielded some of the most incredible parts of what we know about the universe.

NASA
NASA ANNOUNCEMENT: An artist’s illustration of the Kepler telescope observing other worlds

In February, for instance, scientists announced an entire solar system of exoplanets relatively near our own.

And in October it said it had found 20 news planets that could support life.Ahead of the big announcement: the agency has just announced that its astronaut Randy Bresnik has returned to Earth with two of his crewmates.

Before today’s announcement, NASA in a press release said: “The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google.

Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence and demonstrates new ways of analysing Kepler data.”While its primary mission is to look for exoplanets (a planet which orbits a star outside our solar system), it is also tasked with “studying young stars, supernovae and other cosmic phenomena”, according to NASA.
kepler-90.jpg

Indeed, the Kepler-90 system might have more planets in it that we have not been able to spot yet. The same has been suggested of our own solar system – leading the two to be linked in a race to find which of them might in fact be bigger.

The planets in the solar system are much more close together than they are in our own, but it is very stable. “The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer,” said Vanderburg, a Nasa Sagan postdoctoral fellow and astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Kepler-90 system is 2,500 lightyears away and is not a particularly good candidate for finding life. But the discovery about the sheer number of planets in each solar system does improve the chances of finding it, simply by suggesting that there could be far more exoplanets than we ever thought.

At the same time as they found the important new Kepler-90 planet – described as a sizzling-hot world that orbits around its star every 14.4 days – astronomers also found another planet around the Kepler-80 star.

The new planets – just like all of the thousands found by Kepler – were spotted by watching the sky for light coming from the stars. When planets pass in front of their stars, scientists can register the dimming as they go, and use the speed and characteristics of that dimming to work out what the solar system might actually look like.

Much of that work relies on pattern recognition, which until now has been done by scientists looking through the data. But the new findings are the result of work between Nasa and Google, which trained machine learning algorithms to learn to spot those patterns itself and so pick through the data much more quickly.

To train up the algorithms, the Google AI was shown 15,000 signals that have already been checked. It could then look through other, unverified data and look for those same patterns. This is thought to be the first time that neural networks of this kind were used to find planets in the Kepler data.

Scientists hope to use that same AI technology with the rest of the Kepler data set, as well as data from other telescopes. Kepler has been looking at one patch of space for four years, but is now moving around the rest of the sky and sending further information back down to Earth – all of which contains potential planets, and so will benefit from being looked at by Google’s artificial intelligence.

“These results demonstrate the enduring value of Kepler’s mission,” said Jessie Dotson, Kepler’s project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “New ways of looking at the data – such as this early-stage research to apply machine learning algorithms – promise to continue to yield significant advances in our understanding of planetary systems around other stars. I’m sure there are more firsts in the data waiting for people to find them.”


TRAPPIST-1 Planteary System is Also Similar to Earth-Sun’s Solar System

Source www.Trappist.One

TRAPPIST-1 is a planetary system, located 12 parsecs away from the Solar system (39 light years), near the ecliptic, within the constellation of Aquarius. Around a star which is 12 times less massive than the Sun and only slightly larger than Jupiter, there are at least seven planets in orbit. The initial discovery was made by TRAPPIST, the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope. Additional planets were subsequently identified using TRAPPIST and the Spitzer space telescope, the Very Large TelescopeUKIRT, the Liverpool Telescope and the William Herschel Telescope.

All the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system transit their star, meaning that they pass in front of it. The planets were discovered from the regular and repeated shadows that are cast during transit. Thanks to the transit signals we could measure the orbital periods of the planets and could calculate the sizes of the planets. The exact time at which the planets transit also provide us with a means to measure their masses, which leads to knowing their densities and therefore their bulk properties. The planets are consistent with a rocky composition.

We found that the planets have sizes and masses comparable to the Earth and Venus. Because we know the distance of the planets to their star, and the temperature of the star, we can deduce that they receive an amount of light that is similar to many of the planets in the Solar system, from Mercury to beyond Mars.

During transit, some of the starlight goes through the atmosphere of the planets, getting transformed by the chemical composition of the atmosphere and by its vertical structure. This means that we can remotely study the climates of terrestrial worlds beyond our Solar system! The TRAPPIST-1 worlds are the most optimal currently at our disposal. They are providing humanity with it first opportunities at discovering evidence of biology beyond the Solar system.

This website is edited by members of the discovery team of TRAPPIST-1 and contains scientific information about the system as well as artistic and educational material. Our aim is to collect our best and most up-to-date knowledge of this system, while communicating our fascination and awe for the remote worlds of TRAPPIST-1.

PRINCIPAL PUBLICATIONS ON THE SYSTEM

Bourrier, V. et al. 2017, The Astrophysical Journal 154, 3. htmlpdf
Luger, R. et al. 2017, Nature Astronomy 1, 0129. htmlbib
Gillon, M. et al. 2017, Nature 542, p456. htmlpdfbib
de Wit, J. et al. 2016, Nature 537, p69. htmlpdfbib
Gillon, M. et al. 2016, Nature 533, p221. htmlpdfbib

LAY ARTICLE

Triaud, A. & Gillon, M.
Dwarf planetary systems will transform the hunt for alien life, published by Aeon

VARIOUS PRESS ANNOUCEMENTS

ESA – 2017-Aug-31: UV observations of the host star.
U. Bern – 2017-May-22: Orbital period of TRAPPIST-1h measured.
NASA – 2017-Feb-23: At least seven planets orbit TRAPPIST-1.
ESO – 2017-Feb-23: At least seven planets orbit TRAPPIST-1.
NASA – 2016-July-20: First atmospheric study on TRAPPIST-1b & 1c.
ESO – 2016-May-02: The first planets are identified in TRAPPIST-1.

WHY FOCUS ON ULTRA-COOL STARS?

We chose to survey stars that have masses less than 15% the mass of the Sun, for planets. TRAPPIST-1A, the star at the centre of the TRAPPIST-1 system, is representative of our sample. These objects may appear exotic in comparison to our Sun, however they provide various advantages for the study and the understanding of Earth-like planets.

1 — Ultra-cool stars are the most frequent kind of star in the Galaxy. Finding planets orbiting those stars is akin to study the most common planets that exist, which is essential to understanding the formation of Earth-like planets. They are also crucial in order to one day establish with what frequency biology has emerged in the Cosmos.
Finding planets with conditions, architectures and properties different from those of the Solar system allows us to place our Earth in context within the many outcomes of Nature.

2 — Ultra-cool stars are small. This improves enormously our capacity to discover planets with the transit method. It also helps with the subsequent investigations that are required to learn about their atmospheres. The small size of the host star means the transit signals produced by Earth-sized planets are 80x more pronounced compared to similar planets transiting a Sun-like star (the signals from the atmosphere are also enhanced by 80 times). It is also nearly 50 times faster to confirm a planet. The Earth takes one year to orbit the Sun, whereas around ultra-cool dwarfs, a similarly temperate planet occupies an orbit lasting only a week.

3 — It is currently beyond our means to measure the radius and the mass of an Earth-like planet with an Earth-like temperature, orbiting a Sun-like star, whereas we did it for TRAPPIST-1. Although we all think it is important to search for Earth-like planets orbiting Sun-like stars, this is not currently practical. While our technologies and our analysis tools mature, we can start the study of terrestrial planets now, by considering ultra-cool stars, instead of waiting to do so in a decade or two on solar-like stars.

4 — Finding planets orbiting ultra-cool dwarfs means that we find planets similar to our Earth on several aspects , but different on several others. For instance, the amount and type of light the planets receive is not the same as what we receive on Earth. Also the proximity of the TRAPPSIT-1 planets to their star means that they are likely to be tidally-locked. This signifies that there is a permanent dayside and a permanent nightside. How this affects climate remains mostly unknown. Planets like those of TRAPPIST-1 will open the study of what appears to our eyes like exotic climates, but that may in fact be some of the most usual climates outside the Solar system.

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ANOTHER EARTH: NASA’s A.I. Discovers Kepler-90 Solar System Filled with as Many Rocky and Gas Giant Planets as Our Own Located 2,545 Light-Years from Earth in the Draco Constellation

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