Jan 11, 2016 08:01 PM EST
NASA has confirmed that Kepler mission has found more than 100 planets orbiting near the solar system. The University of Arizona confirms the information during the 227th American Astronomical Society conference in Kissimmee, Florida on Jan. 4 to Jan. 8.
This interesting revelation is shared by Ian Crossfield of the University of Arizona during the conference. In his report, he said that these newly discovered planets belong to multiplanet systems that are orbiting stars, which are hotter and brighter than those stars in Kepler's field. It further sighted planets bigger than Earth and found some in an open star cluster near our planet known as Hyades cluster. Aside from finding new ones, it reportedly has witnessed a planet being torn apart.
Although it is still awaiting for an official confirmation, the Kepler mission, in total, has found 234 planets, according to Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Meanwhile, Tom Barclay of NASA specifies Kepler is probing various kinds of planets.
"We are focusing on stars that are much brighter, stars that are nearer by, stars that are more easy to understand and observe from the Earth. The idea here is to find the best systems, the most interesting systems," Barclay said. Its initial goal was to look for other interesting systems aside from the Milky Way.
Former NASA principal investigator Bill Borucki expects this mission to unfold more exoplanets. Crossfield, on the other hand, is excited on how many alien planets and extrasolar systems the Kepler spacecraft will discover in the future. "We're only a quarter or so of the way done, we hope," he said.
The first Kepler mission between 2009 and 2013 has found over 1000 new planets but because of some technicalities, its hunt for more planets ended in 2014. It has also collected data revealing that the solar system is 4.6 billion years old already as well as an Earth-sized new planet that potentially has a habitable zone where life can be sustained.