Science

Kepler K2 Mission captures 100 new exoplanets; It used AI to analyze data set

Kepler K2 Mission captures 100 new exoplanets; It used AI to analyze data set

Kepler mission was launched by NASA in 2009 in order to explore the uncharted territories of the universe and search for the potentially habitable planet or exoplanets. Kepler mission was at its peak when suddenly, an issue with the instrument resulted in mechanical failure when the orbiter lost its ability to focus on a particular object without going off track. That is when NASA and researchers across the world found an epic solution to curb the issue. This lease of life to the orbiter gave Kepler the name of K2 Mission which is presently hovering in the universe searching for exoplanets. According to the data available, K2 Mission has spotted over 4,496 potential candidates and 2,341 confirmed exoplanets including 100 planets that were confirmed just recently.

Kepler K2 mission uses the dips in light registered by its instrument when a planet undergoes transit which is when it passes through its host star. This dims the light cast by the planet on its star which is when Kepler analyzes the data and send it back to the mission control for confirmation. It uses Kepler’s Third Law propounded by Johannes Kepler to measure the size of the star, transit depth, orbital size, etc based on which, the scientists can confirm the exoplanets and distinguish it from other planets and celestial bodies. Out of the 4,496 recorded candidates, scientists have already confirmed around 2,341 exoplanets in just 8 years of Kepler Mission. The size of these exoplanets varies from sub-Earth to Super Earth to Jupiter sized planets.

A few weeks ago, researchers confirmed a batch of 100 new exoplanets after analyzing the data collected from more than 275 candidates reported by Kepler. During this period, Kepler came across a giant star brighter than any other star ever seen. It reported that the planet that revolves around it takes 10 days to revolve. Researchers believe that such star and planet system can be used to observe various factors such as mass measurements, atmospheric characteristics, etc. Exoplanets are the planets which revolve around their own star similar to how Earth revolves around Sun. This is what makes exoplanets an interesting affair and scientists have been searching for some planet similar to the geography, atmosphere, and characteristics of Earth.

After analyzing the data of more than 5,000 candidates, Kepler is presently taking help from Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques. It was used to discover the candidates Kepler 90-i which is around 2,545 light years away from Earth where the AI along with Kepler studied the datasets sent by the latter. It also revealed that the surface temperature at Kepler 90-i soars to 900F which hints towards non-existence of life due to such high temperature.

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