The Kepler Space Telescope operated by the folks at NASA has reportedly found a whopping 461 potential alien planets. Four of these planets could possibly be the home to life similar to that found on Earth.
Since the telescope’s mission began in 22 months ago, the device has located a total of 2,740 alien worlds that could be home to extraterrestrial life. According to Yahoo! News, only 105 of these candidates have been confirmed by NASA scientists.
In addition to finding another 461 planets that may house alien lifeforms, the $60 million Kepler Space Telescope has increased the number of stars thought to have more than one planet from 365 to 467.
NASA’s Ames Research Center said in a recent statement:
“The large number of multi-candidate systems being found by Kepler implies that a substantial fraction of exoplanets reside in flat multi-planet systems. This is consistent with what we know about our own planetary neighborhood.”
News Room America explains that the Kepler telescope has increased the number of possible Earth-sized planets by 43 percent. The number of super Earth-sized candidates reportedly increased by 21 percent. Scientists believe this increases the chance of finding a planet that can sustain life similar to human beings.
In order to determine if these planets are the real deal, each candidate will require additional observation by the NASA team at Ames Research Center.
Mission project scientist Steve Howell said:
“The analysis of increasingly longer time periods of Kepler data uncovers smaller planets in longer period orbits– orbital periods similar to Earth’s. It is no longer a question of will we find a true Earth analogue, but a question of when.”
For those who are interested in taking a peek at the possible candidates, the entire catalog of Kepler discoveries can be found at the NASA Exoplanet Archive.
What do you think about the 461 planets found by the NASA telescope? Do you believe there could be life on other planets?