If you have an emotional attachment to the variations of our Solar System, you may want to look away. We have found another star system with eight planets, which are connected to our own sign. Oh, and Google’s engine-only algorithm is responsible for the search.
This is one of them two new exoplanets extracted from a large archive of data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope Andrew Vanderburgh and Christopher Shallue of the Google AI team. The planets discovered by Kepler show up as a fraction of the star’s light—the result of the planet passing in front and blocking some of the light. Some planets are more visible than others, and the goal here is to change the algorithm to search through past measurements for weak signals that are missing.
Like all machine learning programs, this uses measurements from already known exoplanets to work out what distinguishes real signals from random blips. The researchers said the system came out with the ability to correctly identify false positives about 96 percent of the time.
He then feeds the data for the 670 stars that already have at least one known planet in the hopes that more will turn up. A handful did, but after eliminating those that could be explained by confounding factors such as interactions with fellow stars, two candidates passed all standard screening steps.
One appears to be the only rocky planet about 30 percent larger than Earth, making it 8Th Earth discovered orbiting a Sun-like star, specifically Kepler-90, which is 2,545 lightyears away. Sporting a dizzying orbit of just 14.4 days, this planet is close enough to its host star to be at least 435 degrees Celsius (about 800 degrees Fahrenheit) — literally “hot porridge.” Goldilocks speech. In fact, all eight lives in this star system it will fit inside the Earth’s orbit.
The other exoplanet new orbits Kepler-80, which is about half as far. Although it has a very similar orbital period of 14.6 days, it should be a few hundred degrees cooler (although still on the boiling point of water) and even closer to the size of Earth. The newly discovered planet brings the total in the Kepler-80 family to six, five of which are locked in. resonant orbits.
With some success in the show, Vanderburg and Shallue decided to feed the rest of the Kepler data into the system to see what else they could find.