Nasa Planet Announcement: Kepler Discovery Changes Everything

Has Nasa's Kepler telescope discovered alien life? Stargazers set for big announcement

NASA is set to make an important announcement about a new discovery made by the Kepler space telescope, which has been searching for alien worlds since 2009.

The conference will take place on Thursday, December 14 at 10am PT/1pm ET/6pm UK (December 15 at 5am AET) and will stream live on NASA's website. The research and discovery has been also supported by Google and its machine-learning artificial intelligence software. "The challenge now is to find terrestrial planets (i.e., those one half to twice the size of the Earth), especially those in the habitable zone of their stars where liquid water might exist on the surface of the planet". The spacecraft, which completed its prime mission in 2012, has so far discovered 2,337 confirmed exoplanets and 4,496 candidate exoplanets.

In 2014, Kepler started on a new mission, known as K2, to look for exoplanets and introduce "new research opportunities to study young stars, supernovae and other cosmic phenomena". "Thanks to Kepler's treasure trove of discoveries, astronomers now believe there may be at least one planet orbiting every star in the sky", the press release states.

Most online reports and social media predictions claimed the announcement could be about a major exoplanet discovery, which is the primary mission directive of Kepler. It then began a second phase of the mission, called K2, using the Sun's light as a makeshift reaction wheel to point it towards distant stars. Attendees will include Paul Hertz, the director NASA's Astrophysics division in Washington D.C., as well as Christopher Shallue from Google.

NASA hasn't yet announced what they'll be revealing, but in a statement they did say it was related to machine learning.

The exact details of the subject of the press conference have not been revealed, but the space agency said it will talk about the latest discovery made with its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The Google Brain research team conducted research which allows robots to pick up sand, but also is teaching machines how to be fair.

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