NASA’s planet hunters have discovered 219 new potential planets — 10 of which are earth-sized and have the right mix of conditions that would allow liquid water to form, a key ingredient for life.
The new findings, announced Monday, bring the total amount of potential planets the Kepler space telescope team has found to 4,034, according to a NASA press release. The Kepler team is in charge of identifying potential new planets.
Out of total number of new planet candidates, 2,335 have been verified as planets outside of our solar system. The rest are still undergoing evaluation.
According to USA Today, these new potential planets were found in an area of the milky way galaxy thousands of light years away between the stars Deneb and Vega.
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Researchers discovered these potential planets by studying the brightness of stars, which dim a bit as a planet moves in front of them.
“This carefully-measured catalog is the foundation for directly answering one of astronomy’s most compelling questions — how many planets like our Earth are in the galaxy?” said Susan Thompson, a Kepler research scientist and leading author of the planet catalog.