Another 8 planet solar system

NASA have now discovered an eighth planet orbiting the Kepler-9 sun – or at least they were 2,545 light-years ago, we can only look back into history.

NASA: Artificial Intelligence, NASA Data Used to Discover Eighth Planet Circling Distant Star

The planet was discovered in data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.

The newly-discovered Kepler-90i – a sizzling hot, rocky planet that orbits its star once every 14.4 days – was found using machine learning from Google. Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence in which computers “learn.” In this case, computers learned to identify planets by finding in Kepler data instances where the telescope recorded signals from planets beyond our solar system, known as exoplanets.

The discovery came about after researchers Christopher Shallue and Andrew Vanderburg trained a computer to learn how to identify exoplanets in the light readings recorded by Kepler – the minuscule change in brightness captured when a planet passed in front of, or transited, a star. Inspired by the way neurons connect in the human brain, this artificial “neural network” sifted through Kepler data and found weak transit signals from a previously-missed eighth planet orbiting Kepler-90, in the constellation Draco.

While machine learning has previously been used in searches of the Kepler database, this research demonstrates that neural networks are a promising tool in finding some of the weakest signals of distant worlds.

Other planetary systems probably hold more promise for life than Kepler-90. About 30 percent larger than Earth, Kepler-90i is so close to its star that its average surface temperature is believed to exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit, on par with Mercury. Its outermost planet, Kepler-90h, orbits at a similar distance to its star as Earth does to the Sun.

“The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer,” said Vanderburg, a NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow and astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin.

I don’t know how accurate this planet detection is – and of course there could be more planets not yet detected there.

A lot closer to earth: Is ‘Oumuamua an alien spacecraft? First scans show no signs of technology

The first scans for alien technology aboard a mysterious object that is barreling through the solar system have found no evidence it is the work of an intelligent civilisation.

The cigar-shaped object was spotted hurtling through the solar system in Octoberand while astronomers suspected it was an interstellar asteroid, its curious shape led them to propose sweeping it for radio signals in case it happened to be an alien craft.

While the long, slender object may have been well suited to flying through clouds of interstellar gas at breakneck speed, as some researchers noted, the observation that the body was tumbling through space suggests any aerodynamic advantage was at best minimal.

Scientists on the Breakthrough Listen project, funded by the internet billionaire Yuri Milner, used the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia to eavesdrop on the 400m-long body named ‘Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian word for “messenger” or “scout”. The body is twice as far from Earth as the sun, but the telescope is so sensitive it could detect transmissions as weak as those produced by a mobile phone.

But on Thursday, the astronomers declared that the first observations across four bands of the radio spectrum had found no evidence that ‘Oumuamua is anything other than a long lump of space rock. Scientists on the project have released the data from the observations so anyone can study the information.

I suppose until it’s proven that it isn’t aliens then it theoretically could be, but I wonder why there was speculation this rock could have been anything different.

Leave a comment


  1. patupaiarehe

     /  15th December 2017

    Whatever it is, ‘aerodynamics’ count for nothing in a vacuum. Isn’t it great to know that we have many ‘eyes on the sky’, to warn us of any impending danger?

  2. PartisanZ

     /  15th December 2017

    ” … led them to propose sweeping it for radio signals in case it happened to be an alien craft.”

    What is it gives us the impression that alien life-forms, intelligent (by our standards, which aren’t very high) or otherwise, will have invented and be using radio signals …?

    Is this some kind of ‘technothromorphism’? [new word # 119]

    • Gezza

       /  15th December 2017

      Because the Universe is flooded with electromagnetism & the EM spectrum includes visible, infra red, & ultra violet light, radio waves, microwaves almost limitless at each end of the hi-low frequency scale etc. Almost certainly any advanced-intelligence species will have discovered this & utilized the EM spectrum at some time, even if there are faster than light methods of communicating & interstellar travelling we don’t know of and can’t utilise ourselves yet.

      • PartisanZ

         /  15th December 2017

        Well … umm … if they’re 2,545 light years away … How the f^#k long is it gonna take the sound of their radios to reach us?

        • Gezza

           /  15th December 2017

          Maths isn’t my strong point, I can’t be bothered doing the calculations. But radio telescopes are looking far out into the universe, & back in time.

          Any peaceful advanced extra solar system beings who might theoretically be capable of reaching us are probably quite capable of observing us closely as well. If they’re intelligent they’d probably want to avoid us. We’re dangerous.

  3. Corky

     /  15th December 2017

    ”I suppose until it’s proven that it isn’t aliens then it theoretically could be, but I wonder why there was speculation this rock could have been anything different.”

    Probably because many UFO sightings have had smaller vessels coming or going from a cigar shaped object designated ”the mother ship.”.

    Also space is not a vacuum. It is filled with unlimited energy. This is a very contentious issue in science.

    • patupaiarehe

       /  15th December 2017

      Please elaborate, Corky. Seriously, please do. I’ve learned a lot from you, when you weren’t being nasty (OK, I’ve learned a little, since you are nasty alot… 😀 )

  4. Gezza

     /  15th December 2017

    I suppose until it’s proven that it isn’t aliens then it theoretically could be, but I wonder why there was speculation this rock could have been anything different.

    Cos it’s gets them some attention.


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