NASA has announced discovery of 715 MORE EXOPLANETS
All the planets! We will discover them all! And then — then we will silently weep because we will never reach any of them. Goddamn technological limitations! Goddamn laws of the Universe.
With a single announcement, NASA is nearly doubling the number of known planets outside our solar system. In a pair of papers published today, NASA has revealed the discovery of 715 new and verified planets, bringing the total number of known exoplanets up to 1,700. The planets were found orbiting around 305 different stars, forming multiple-planet systems with constructions much like our own. The planets too bear some resemblance to ours: 95 percent of them are no more than four times larger than Earth.
But while the new planets’ sizes and systems may be familiar, they aren’t necessarily just like Earth. NASA found that only four of the planets orbit inside of their sun’s habitable zones. Still, its researchers are excited to see these similar characteristics at all. “That these new planets and solar systems look somewhat like our own, portends a great future when we have the James Webb Space Telescope in space to characterize the new worlds,” John Grunsfeld, a NASA administrator, says in a statement.
The new bodies were discovered by using a statistical technique that pointed to systems that were likely to hold multiple planets at once. From there, researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center analyzed the stars with more than one potential planet and worked through them to verify the 715 planets announced today.