NASA announced 1,284 new planets on Tuesday

On Tuesday, there was a major announcement by NASA. The space program announced that 1,284 new planets have been discovered by the Kepler space telescope. Nine of the latest planets discovered are believed to have the potential to “allow liquid water to pool.”

“This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth,” Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.

With the 1,284 new planets, there are now 3,264 planets that have been discovered outside our solar system, most being identified by the Kepler space telescope.

“Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy,” Paul Hertz, director of Astrophysics Division at NASA, said in a statement. “Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars. This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe.”

If the 1,280 new planets were not enough, NASA also identified 1,327 potential planets.

The candidates for planeticy — yeah, totally just made that word up. I’m not a rocket scientist — will undergo further testing until it is determined whether they will reach the required threshold to become officially recognized as planets.

Space is a fascinating thing.

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