Astronomers Find a Record Number of Exoplanets Using New Method

Astronomers Find a Record Number of Exoplanets Using New Method
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Oddly enough, astronomers haven’t been too good at finding exoplanets as many would be tempted to believe. The first space object of such kind was discovered only three decades ago. Meanwhile, more than 4,800 exoplanets had been detected. The number is obviously low when you consider how much time has passed.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an incredible number of 301 newfound exoplanets were recently added to the astronomers’ count. Practically, they were discovered all at once, and it’s certainly astonishing. Such an achievement was possible due to a new method.

ExoMiner found 301 exoplanets at once

ExoMiner represents the method used by the astronomers to find all of those new exoplanets. It’s a deep neural network, meaning a machine learning method that can easily learn a task if it’s given the right data. Perhaps the best part about ExoMiner is that it can learn by using info about past confirmed exoplanets and also false-positive cases.

Jon Jenkins, who is an exoplanet scientist at the Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley of NASA, declared as quoted by JPL.NASA.Gov:

Unlike other exoplanet-detecting machine learning programs, ExoMiner isn’t a black box – there is no mystery as to why it decides something is a planet or not,

We can easily explain which features in the data lead ExoMiner to reject or confirm a planet.

If there’s no sign of life on our own Solar System, why wouldn’t it be discovered on some exoplanet? Finding life elsewhere in the Universe has always been one of the biggest goals of astronomers, and the more exoplanets they find, the closer they are to that ultimate purpose.

Could life exist elsewhere in the Cosmos? Wili astronomers ever find it? Feel free to tell us your own opinion about it, as the comment section is always available!


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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