1,000+ Potential New Planets Found

More than a thousand potential new planets have been found outside our solar system—nearly doubling the number of candidates discovered so far by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, according to a new study.

The fresh batch of Kepler Objects of Interest, or KOIs, emerged from an analysis of mission data gathered between May 2009 and September 2010.

The data revealed 1,091 possible new planets, bringing the total count to 2,321—up from 1,235 candidates formally announced last February.

Aside from the sheer number of new candidates, astronomers are excited that a substantial fraction of the haul appears to be made up of small, cool worlds that are more similar to Earth than many of the previous finds.

For example, Kepler’s latest discoveries include 196 new Earth-size planet candidates, nearly quadrupling the number of similar candidates announced last year. Learn more here.



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