NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered 1,284 new exoplanets, including nine rocky worlds that might be capable of supporting life as we know it, astronomers announced today (May 10). This is by far the largest haul of alien planets ever unveiled at one time.
The total exoplanet tally now stands at about 3,200, and Kepler has found 2,235 of them
The histogram shows the number of planet discoveries by year for more than the past two decades of the exoplanet search. The blue bar shows previous non-Kepler planet discoveries, the light blue bar shows previous Kepler planet discoveries, the orange bar displays the 1,284 new validated planets. Credits: NASA Ames/W. Stenzel; Princeton University/T. Morton
Out of 7056 KOIs (Kepler Objects of Interest), researchers determine that 1935 have probabilities less than 1% to be astrophysical false positives, and thus may be considered validated planets. 1284 of these have not yet been validated or confirmed by other methods. In addition, we identify 428 KOIs likely to be false positives that have not yet been identified as such, though some of these may be a result of unidentified transit timing variations. A side product of these calculations is full stellar property posterior samplings for every host star, modeled as single, binary, and triple systems. These calculations use vespa, a publicly available Python package able to be easily applied to any transiting exoplanet candidate.
SOURCE – NASA