Watch as NASA announces new discovery by planet-hunting telescope

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are key to the new finding.
by Denise Chow /
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has gazed at more than 150,000 stars and continues to transmit back data that leads to important discoveries of celestial objects in our galaxy, including first-time observations of planets outside our solar system.
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has gazed at more than 150,000 stars and continues to transmit back data that leads to important discoveries of celestial objects in our galaxy, including first-time observations of planets outside our solar system.Wendy Stenzel / Ames Research Center/NASA
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NASA is holding a press briefing today to announce a new discovery made by the Kepler Space Telescope, which has spent nearly a decade scouring the cosmos for alien planets. You can watch the announcement on NASA Live starting at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

The space agency has given few details about the discovery, saying only that it involved the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning from Google as part of a new way to evaluate observations made by Kepler.

Among the participants in today’s briefing are:

*Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

*Christopher Shallue, senior software engineer at Google AI in Mountain View, California

*Andrew Vanderburg, astronomer at the University of Texas, Austin

*Jessie Dotson, Kepler project scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California

Since its 2009 launch, the Kepler mission has identified more than 2,300 confirmed exoplanets — that is, planets orbiting stars other than the sun. This tally includes 30 exoplanets that are less than twice the size of Earth and which orbit within the so-called habitable zone, where conditions could support life as we know it.

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