Kepler space telescope data uncovers 715 new planets

New technique allows scientists to quickly confirm exoplanet detections

By Christopher Crockett, 15:31 PM February 27, 2014

The galaxy just got more crowded. Astronomers using data from the Kepler space telescope have confirmed the existence of 715 new planets orbiting 305 stars, increasing the total number of known planets to about 1,700. This is the largest number of planet confirmations ever announced at once.

“We’ve struck the mother lode,” said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., during a February 26 press conference. “It’s an exoplanet bonanza.”

The new...

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