It was only a matter of time…NASA’s Kepler mission has verified 1,284 new planets, which happens to be the single largest finding of planets to date.
An analysis was performed on the Kepler space telescope’s July 2015 planet candidate catalog, which found 4,302 potential planets. For 1,284 of those potential planets, the probability of being a planet is greater than 99% – the minimum required to earn the status of “planet.”
In the newly-validated batch of planets, nearly 550 of these new planets could be rocky planets like Earth, based on their size alone. Interestingly enough, nine of these orbit in their sun’s habitable zone (meaning ‘the distance from a star where orbiting planets can have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool’ Via Nasa). With the addition of these nine, 21 exoplanets now are known to be members of this exclusive group.
For more information about the NASA Kepler mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler
Source: NASA Press Release