The Existence Of 50 New Planets, Uncovered By Artificial Intelligence Digging Through Old NASA Data

Deep space art. Galaxies, nebulas and stars in universe. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory 

An artificial intelligence machine has revealed the discovery of 50 new planets by going through NASA’s past data. 

A research team at Warwick University gathered a huge amount of datasets from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the Kepler mission. They then fed the collected data to a machine learning algorithm. The artificial intelligence device then proceeded to confirm that 50 new planets exist without public knowledge. 

The Kepler mission is now retired, and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite was launched back in 2018. 

The current technique to spot and confirm the existence of a new planet has received suspicion and criticism. Some scientists say that the process can be disturbed by noise, an object’s interference, and even camera errors. With this new research of mixing AIs and data, scientists hope that planet spotting techniques will improve exponentially. 

Warwick University Researchers Discover 50 New Planets

The researchers from Warwick university trained their artificial intelligence machine by showing it what confirmed planets are. They also taught the AI how to spot and avert false positives. They further fed it a large set of datasets. This dataset has not yet been validated for new planet candidates. 

The machine-learning algorithm then confirmed 59 new planets. As lee the research team, this discovery is the gist of its kind in astronomy history. 

David Armstrong said that this new technique lets the researchers take in 50 planet candidates for validation at a time. They then check if a planet is applicable for an upgrade. David Armstrong is a leading researcher of the project from the physics department of Warwick University. 

Their research paper has been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, a science journal. 

The 50 new planets found are of different sizes. The statement made by the researchers said that some planets were as big as Neptune, and some were smaller than Earth. 

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Armstrong further stated that they don’t think there will be a false positive. He said that the statistical likelihood of a false positive is less than one percent. Armstrong added that given the precise data, all the 50 new planets are being considered as valid planets. 

Machine Learning Algorithm – Much Efficient Than Traditional Planet Spotting System 

The researchers said that this system is quite effective and time-efficient. The entire process takes much faster and is much accurate than the traditional system. However, teaching the machine the algorithm takes some time. But, that is the only time taking part. 

The researchers hope that they can use this new technique to find other candidate planets. Armstrong expanded on the issue and said that they are looking to use data from PLATO and TESS. 

PLATO stands for Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars. It’s a space telescope that researchers are planning to launch in the year 2026.

Image Credit: Dima Zahar

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