Artificial intelligence helps nail 8-planet solar system like our own
Every time we think we're in a class by ourselves, it's only a matter of time. Used to be our solar system had the most planets around a single star. But thanks to new data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft, we're now tied with the Kepler-90 system, a sun-like star 2,545 light years away in the constellation Draco.
Researchers recently uncovered Kepler-90i, a sizzling-hot eighth planet that orbits Kepler-90 once every 14.4 days. To find it, they used a unique method: machine learning. Machine learning is a type of computer science that gives machines (computers) the ability to go beyond strict programming and learn on their own. In this case, computers learned to identify planets by finding instances in the Kepler data where the telescope recorded signals from exoplanets beyond our solar system.
"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, in a news release.