Google's AI helped NASA to find another planet in Kepler-90's orbit

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Google's AI helped NASA to find another planet in Kepler-90's orbit

Although Kepler-90 is a sun-like star, the planets are all bunched together in tight orbits around it - the same distance that Earth is from the sun.

The discovery was based on observations gathered by Nasa's Kepler Space Telescope.

NASA has announced the discovery of another solar system equal in the number of planets to our own using artificial intelligence.

The data came from the Kepler telescope which NASA launched into space in 2009 as part of a planet-finding mission that is expected to end next year as the spacecraft runs out of fuel.

According to AP, Shallue also said Google planned to make public the code needed to do searches for planets outside of our solar system using a home computer and the publically available Kepler data. The last planet in Kepler-90 System is nearly as far as the Earth is from our sun. Applying this process, researchers Christopher Shallue and Andrew Vanderburg trained a computer to identify Kepler's light readings, that is the minute changes in brightness that are caused by a planet passing in front of a star.

Astronomers are confident that the exoplanet exists and that its surface temperature could exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, all eight planets are scrunched up around this star, orbiting closer than Earth does to our sun.

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The US space agency has discovered a whole solar system with the same number of planets as ours, reports BNT.

Without machine learning, it would have taken humans much longer to scan the recorded signals from planets beyond our solar system (exoplanets), Shallue said.

Described by NASA as "a sizzling hot, rocky planet", Kepler-90i orbits its namesake Kepler-90, a star around 2,500 light years away. However, the weakest signals often are missed using these methods.

Can Google used this technology to find more planets? This one, the Earth-sized Kepler-80g, and four of its neighboring planets form what is called a resonant chain - where planets are locked by their mutual gravity in a rhythmic orbital dance.

"Their assumption was that multiple-planet systems would be the best places to look for more exoplanets", researchers wrote in the press release. Kepler has gathered four years of data on what's in the sky and found 150,000 stars - much more than people could see.

All of the planets except for 90i were previously known.

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The next three planets beyond Kepler-90i - 90d, 90e and 90f - fall into a sub-Neptune size class and complete an orbit every 60, 92 and 125 days, respectively.

"These results demonstrate the enduring value of Kepler's mission", Jessie Dotson, project scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, said in a statement.

The neural network is trained on 15,000 signals from the Kepler dataset that have been previously verified as planets or non-planets.

When the scientists finally tested their neural network on signals that it had not seen before, it correctly sorted the planets from the false positives a whopping 96% of the time, Shallue said.

"If you have a finer sieve then you will catch more rocks, but you might catch more jewels, as well", he added. Shallue said that in his spare time, he "started googling for "finding exoplanets with large data sets" and came across the treasure trove of data from the Kepler mission".

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