Parts of the Program
NASA's exoplanet program includes many different components, from current ground-based telescopes and space-based observatories to future missions.
Exploring the Universe
NASA's Kepler space telescope notices the slight dip in a star's brightness caused by an exoplanet crossing between Earth and that star. The collected data resembles the U-shaped pattern in this image.
Researchers used machine-learning techniques to spot previously undetected exoplanet signals in Kepler data. The strategy is akin to that used by neural networks in the human brain: A layer of "neurons" performs simple computations and transmits that data to the next layer of "neurons," in essence teaching the computer how to identify objects.
Kepler has spotted over 30,000 signals of possible exoplanets. Researchers analyzed Kepler data from 670 multiplanet systems using Google machine-learning techniques and detected two more alien worlds — Kepler-90 and Kepler-80g.
A Pattern to Follow?
The eight known planets in the Kepler-90 system follow a similar setup to our solar system: smaller planets closer to the star and larger planets farther away.
A Compact System
In the Kepler-90 system, all eight planets are closer to the host star than Earth is to the sun.
Expanding the Universe
Experts believe there may be more planets in the Kepler-90 system.
Hope for the Future
The vast majority of known exoplanet systems harbor just one confirmed world. Kepler-90i offers hope that additional mulitplanet systems will be found.
More Eyes, More Data
Just 326 exoplanets were known when NASA's Kepler space telescope launched in March 2009. .
It Takes All Kinds
Kepler has discovered more than 2,500 of the roughly 3,500 exoplanets confirmed to date.