By Earnest Jones  |  12-12-2017   Weird
Photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

NASA is set to conduct a teleconference at 1:00pm ET (6:00pm GMT) on Thursday regarding its hunt for alien life.

The space agency revealed that the news will focus on work done by its Kepler planet hunting telescope which has been working with Google's AI system to find potentially-habitable worlds.

Thousands of exoplanets have been spotted by the Kepler mission since 2014, with 21 Earth-sized planets now known to orbit within the habitable zones of their stars.

The teleconference will likely reveal the latest telescope's catalogue, this will be Nasa's best look yet at possible alien planets.

NASA will live stream the teleconference on December 14 on its website. 'The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google,' Nasa said.

'Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analysing Kepler data.'

The latest planet candidate results will be made by Scientists from the Astrophysics Division of Nasa's Science Mission Directorate and Ames Research Centre, as well as a senior Google AI software engineer and an expert from the University of Texas at Austin.

The search for planets outside of the solar system that orbit within the habitable zone of their star has been greatly enabled by the Kepler space telescope since its launch in 2009.

A discovery was made by astronomers last summer after they confirmed 104 planets and discovered 197 new planet candidates, all with the help of the Kepler mission.

Planets between 20 and 50 per cent larger than Earth by diameter, orbit the M dwarf star K2-72, found 181 light years away. During that time, the researchers, led by the University of Arizona, said the possibility of life on planets around a star of this kind cannot be ruled out.

There are several setbacks that have plagued the Kepler mission since its launch, however, new objects have been spotted outside the solar system.

Kepler’s initial mission surveyed just one patch of sky in the northern hemisphere, measuring the frequency of planets whose size and temperature might be similar to Earth orbiting stars similar to our sun.

The telescope lost its ability to precisely stare at its original target area during the spacecraft's extended mission in 2013, however, a fix revived the telescope’s life. Kepler started its K2 mission in 2014 after the fix, which has provided an ecliptic field of view with greater opportunities for Earth-based observatories in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Since K2 covers more of the sky, it has the capability to observe a larger fraction of small and cooler stars.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5166687/Nasa-make-major-alien-hunting-Kepler-discovery.html

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