DEC 14, 2017 03:08 PM PST
Eighth Exoplanet Found Orbiting Kepler-90
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Kepler-90 is a distant star system residing around 2,545 light years away from us that NASA now contends has our solar system tied for the highest number of known planets orbiting a host star; eight of them, to be exact.

NASA found Kepler-90's eighth planet (Kepler-90i) by employing some help from the Kepler Space Telescope and artificial intelligence. A system of computers worked in tandem with one another to interpret data collected by Kepler, which measures the dip in a star's light as planets transit in front of it.

Kepler-90 is a Sun-like star, but this is where the similarities to our own solar system end. Although eight exoplanets orbit the star, each one encircles it so tightly that they'd fit inside of the Earth's orbit around the Sun.

Astronomers say that they orbit so close to the host star that they're likely too hot to support life as we know it. Nevertheless, the success in finding this eighth exoplanet with the help of artificial intelligence highlights how this method could be useful in future searches.

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