Using data obtained from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope combined with Google’s machine learning enabled the discovery of an eighth planet in the Kepler-90 system, a planetary system only 2,545 light-years from Earth with a star much like our own sun, reports ScienceDaily. The eighth planet means Kepler-90 is now tied with our own solar system for having the most planets orbiting a star.
The discovery was made after AI scientists at Google taught a program how to identify the tiny light fluctuations that come from the dimming of a star when a planet passes before them. The Kepler Space Telescope records these fluctuations, but in its trove of data many of them can be missed. Now that Google’s AI can successfully detect the minuscule fluctuations, the combined Google/NASA team will go back over all the data Kepler has recorded so far in search of more planets that may have been missed.