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NASA announces discovery of 301 new exoplanets

By Rich Klein
NASA announces discovery of 301 new exoplanets
An illustration depicts the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b, the closest exoplanet to the sun and also the closest potentially habitable exoplanet. File Photo by M. Kornmesser/European Southern Observatory

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- NASA scientists have discovered another 301 exoplanets -- those outside the solar system.

The new discoveries bring the total of validated exoplanets to 4,569 since the discovery of the first ones in the mid-1990s.

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NASA said Monday that the discoveries can be attributed to a new network called ExoMiner, that leverages NASA's Supercomputer, Pleiades, and can distinguish real exoplanets from different types of impostors, or "false positives."

Deep neural networks are machine-learning methods that automatically learn a task when provided with enough data.

ExoMiner supplements people who are pros at combing through data and deciphering what is and isn't a planet. Specifically, they study the data gathered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft and K2, its follow-on mission.

NASA has an online archive that contains details of the exoplanet discoveries.

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Meanwhile, a study by Purdue University in 2019 said that astronomers had identified two exoplanets that could even support life. That same year, two scientists were awarded the Nobel Price in Physics for their discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.

Out-of-this-world images from space

The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a flyaround of the orbiting lab that took place following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on November 8. Photo courtesy of NASA

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