NASA’s Kepler Space Mission has discovered 461 new planet candidates including four planets, which are slightly larger than the Earth and can support life.
“There is no better way to kick off the start of the Kepler extended mission than to discover more possible outposts on the frontier of potentially life-bearing worlds,” said Christopher Burke, Kepler scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who is leading the analysis.
NASA has reported 20% increase in the number of celestial bodies discovered by Kepler since last February. Until now, 2,740 planet candidates have been discovered, during the 22 months of operation of Kepler mission, orbiting 2,036 stars. During the start of the last year, 33 candidates were confirmed as the planets and the number has been increased to 105, today.
Kepler mission has spotted a great number of Earth-size planets and their discovery showed 43% increase while the finding of super Earth-size candidates increased by 21%.
Many of the stars are now found to have more than one planet and the data for such stars increased from 365 to 467. Now, about 43% of the planets found by the Kepler mission have nearby planets in the system.
“The large number of multi-candidate systems being found by Kepler implies that a substantial fraction of exoplanets reside in flat multi-planet systems,” Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said in a statement. “This is consistent with what we know about our own planetary neighborhood.”
You can find the complete list of Kepler planet candidates in the form of an interactive table at the said in a statement. supported by NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program