NASA's Kepler Space Telescope revealed interesting details lately. Before its retirement in 2018, astronomers filtering through data recorded by the telescope discovered a solar system with seven planets orbiting the host star. However, none of them can support life since they are being bombarded by radiation from their parent star, which is 10 per cent larger and 5 per cent hotter than the sun in our solar system.
In fact, all of the planets in our solar system receive more heat than any other planet. This solar system, known as Kepler-385, is one of the few known to have more than six planets.
Kepler space telescope findings reveal seven exoplanets
The ongoing study of the data recovered from the Kepler space telescope resulted in the finding of seven additional exoplanets. This telescope, which was deployed in 2009, was NASA's first to search for exoplanets and was decommissioned in 2018 after an extended mission.
The Kepler telescope is used to locate exoplanets by observing dips in brightness generated by an orbiting planet. The longer the time between two dips, the farther away the planet is from the star in its orbit, whereas a planet in a close orbit would cause the light dips in quick succession. The same technique is used by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) observatory in space, which was launched in 2018.
New exoplanets are larger than Earth
All seven of these new exoplanets are larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, Kepler data revealed. The system's first two planets are thought to be rocky with thin atmospheres, whereas the next five planets (twice the size of Earth) are thought to have thick atmospheres.
Jack Lissauer, NASA's Ames Research Center scientist, in his statement, said, "We have assembled the most accurate list of Kepler planet candidates and their properties to date." Additionally, he said, "NASA's Kepler mission has discovered the majority of known exoplanets, and this new catalogue will enable astronomers to learn more about their characteristics."