Space is the final fronteir. Maybe we'll get to explore all these strange new worlds.
Space is still the final frontier, and NASA has announced that the frontier is more vast than we realized. The NASA Kepler mission has discovered 715 planets set up in multiple-planet systems a lot like ours. The discovery more than doubled the number of known worlds in one fell swoop.
Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the first NASA mission to find potentially habitable Earth-size planets. Discoveries include more than 3,600 planet candidates, of which 961 have been verified as bona fide worlds, according to a release from NASA. Since the discovery of planets outside our solar system two decades back, the process of identifying them has been a slow planet-by-planet setup. Now, scientists on the Kepler mission are using a statistical technique that can be applied to make the identification process move at light speed, relativity-wise.More »