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NASA telescope reveals 7 new planets orbiting a distant star

A year of images from the James Webb telescope

Celebrating a year of images from the James Webb Space Telescope


Astronomers studying data from NASA’s retired Kepler space telescope have discovered a new system of seven “hot” planets orbiting a distant star that is larger and hotter than the sun. the space agency said on Thursday.

NASA described the newly discovered planets as “sweltering” and “bathed” in radiant heat emitted by the host star which was described as “sun-like”. This star is 10% larger and 5% “hotter than the sun,” NASA said, and there is more heat per area coming from this star than any planet in our solar system.

All of the planets are larger than Earth, with the two inner planets being slightly larger and the other five planets even larger, about twice the size of Earth. The inner planets are “likely rocky and could have a thin atmosphere,” NASA said, while the five outer planets are expected to have a thick atmosphere.

Artist’s impression of Kepler-385, the seven-planet system revealed in a new catalog of planet candidates discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

NASA/Daniel Rutter

The system was nicknamed the Kepler-385 system because of the retired telescope’s role in searching for planets.

This system is listed in a new catalog of planet candidates discovered by the telescope. There are nearly 4,400 planet candidates in total, including more than 700 multi-planet systems, but NASA said it is rare for there to be a system with more than six planet candidates. A planet candidate means that a planet has been discovered by a telescope, but its existence has not yet been confirmed.

NASA said the catalog aims to “produce a comprehensive list providing precise information about each of the systems, making discoveries like Kepler-385 possible.”

Concept art showing two of the seven discovered planets orbiting a Sun-like star. The system, called Kepler-385, was identified using data from NASA’s Kepler mission.

NASA/Daniel Rutter

THE Kepler telescopewhich was designed to search for planets like those found in the Kepler-385 system, stopped its main observations in 2013 and conducted an extended mission until 2018. It showed that there are more planets than stars in the galaxy and helped establish a detailed picture of what each of these planets and their home systems look like.

“We have assembled the most precise list of candidate Kepler planets and their properties to date,” said Jack Lissauer, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley and lead author of the paper. presenting the new catalog. “NASA’s Kepler mission discovered the majority of known exoplanets, and this new catalog will allow astronomers to learn more about their characteristics.”

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