NASA announced that it will be holding a press conference to reveal a breakthrough from its Kepler telescope. The discovery was helped along by Google’s artificial intelligence software. The press conference, which will be live-streamed on the agency’s website, will take place on December 14.
The Kepler telescope was launched in 2009 and has since found thousands of planets outside the solar system, Newsweek reports. A press release from NASA said,
Thanks to Kepler’s treasure trove of discoveries, astronomers now believe there may be at least one planet orbiting every star in the sky.
Kepler concluded its original mission in 2012, confirming a total of 2,337 exopanets and 4,496 more candidates. There are 30 in habitable zones, meaning they exist at the right distance from their nearest stars to possibly host extraterrestrial life.
In 204, Kepler began a new mission named K2. This exoplanet-hunting confirmed the existence of 178 further planets, with 515 potential candidates. K2 is likewise “introducing new research opportunities to study young stars, supernovae and other cosmic phenomena,” the press release stated.
Experts from both NASA and Google are expected to be in attendance to explain this latest find, which is speculated to be big news. Attendees include Paul Hertz, the director of NASA’s Astrophysics division in Washington D.C., and Christopher Shallue from Google.
Shallue is a senior research software engineer at Google Brain, which is the tech corporation’s machine intelligence research team. Google Brain functions to assist and conduct research on things like teaching machines to be fair and helping robots pick up sand.
NASA’s press release added that the discovery involved machine learning that “demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data,” but has remained cryptic about what the rest of the conference is going to be about.
The news has made scientists all over the world anticipate something on a dramatic scale, but all other details will have to await Thursday’s event.