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Scientists discover two new planets using artificial intelligence
Both planets are a part of the Aquarius constellation.
Astronomers have discovered two hidden planers using artificial intelligence and the data gathered by the Kepler space telescope. The technique seems promising for identifying other planets that conventional methods could not catch.
Researchers from The University of Texas created an algorithm that sifts through the data that was retrieved by the Kepler to ferret out signals that were missed by previous planet-finding techniques. The process is known as The Astronomical Journal, will help scientists find more planets that were hidden in Kepler data.
"K2 data is more challenging to work with because the spacecraft is moving around all the time," said Andrew Vanderburg, from UT Austin.
This change came after the system ran into mechanical failure. While mission planners were able to tackle the situation, the spacecraft was left with a wobble that AI had to take into account.
The Kepler and K2 missions have already found out thousands of planets around other solar systems with a large number of candidates awaiting confirmation. The newly discovered planets are both very typical of planets found in K2, researchers said.
"They're really close in to their host star, they have short orbital periods, and they're hot. They are slightly larger than Earth," said Anne Dattilo, who led the study.
One of the planets is called K2-293b and orbits a star 1,300 light years away in the Aquarius constellation. The other, K2-294b, orbits a star 1,230 light-years away, also lies in the same constellation.
The researchers used their algorithm to find these planets and then studied the host stars using ground-based telescopes to confirm that the planets are real. We might see the same method on Kepler's successor planet-hunting mission, TESS, which was launched in April 2018.