NASA’s Kepler telescope finds 715 new planets outside solar system

NASA Handout

NASA Handout

The Earth’s galaxy is looking far more crowded and hospitable. NASA on Wednesday confirmed a bonanza of 715 newly discovered planets outside the solar system.

Douglas Hudgins, NASA’s exoplanet exploration program scientist, called the announcement a major step toward the planet-hunting Kepler telescope’s ultimate goal: “finding Earth 2.0.”
It’s a big step in not just finding other Earths, but “the possibility of life elsewhere,” said Lisa Kaltenegger, a Harvard and Max Planck Institute astronomer who wasn’t part of the discovery team.

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