NASA’s Kepler telescope in collaboration with Google AI Hunt has discovered a second major remote star system in the universe as big as our own called Kepler 90, which is 2,545 light-years from Earth. It is speculated to have the same number of planets orbiting it as our own sun. This ground breaking project used Google’s artificial intelligence technology, AI to find Kepler 90’s eighth planet, Kepler 90i. This technology proves the data to be up to 96% accurate.
Although Kepler 90 was previously known by astronomers in 2013, it had not been detected due to ‘weak’ signals.
The star framework sits approximately 2,545 light-years from Earth in constellation Draco. Of the new planets discovered, Kepler 90i is the ‘smallest of the bunch.’
According to NASA, ‘families as large as our own’ can be speculated on this distant solar system, but it is ‘not a place you’d like to visit,’ as explained by Andrew Vanderburg, astronomer and NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas, Austin. The planet is estimated to be about 30 percent larger than Earth. It is found to have a rocky and sizzling hot surface with an average temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t seem to have a thick atmosphere either.
He also added — “the Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer.”
Vanderburg and Google AI software engineer Christopher Shallue also found a second new planet, called Kepler 80g, the sixth in the system. The third planet to be discovered is the outermost planet in the system, Kepler 90h, is a gas giant roughly the size of Jupiter.
The Google AI software is a tool trained to recognize patterns, learning algorithms, and spot differences and similarities between patterns incidental to planets, along with other cosmic paradigms and compositions. Along with that, it required establishing signals from exoplanets recorded in the Kepler data.
14 billion data points were processed using a convolutional neural network. This is the closest scientists have made it possible for artificial technology to work like the human brain processing information.
In addition to these findings, a breakthrough Listen was set up to seek the Universe for extraterrestrial life. A cigar-shaped interstellar ‘comet’ named Oumuamua was found to emit signals determinable on radio telescope yesterday. This object has been may have been an alien vehicle of some kind.
‘Oumuamua’ is a Hawaiian term that means ‘a messenger from afar arriving first’.
If experts are able to find electromagnetic signals that are stronger than those generated by natural celestial bodies. These signals, if found, can prove the existence of extraterrestrial forces.
However, there has been no concrete evidence of artificial signals emanating from the object. Sorting out data of such a massive volume may as well take time. So far, data covering only frequencies from 1.7 to 2.6 GHz – has been processed.
The stage thing about Oumuamua is its S-shape. Asteroids are usually round. Another thing is it ‘flies very cleanly’, unaccompanied by the emission of the usual cloud of space dust that astronomers observe around asteroids. This could be possible because of the comet’s odd composition; it could be made of something dense like rock or metal. It also has a faint red hue, indicating that it is vulnerable to interstellar cosmic radiation.
This led to Dr. Jason Wright from Penn State University to claim that the space rock could be an alien spacecraft with broken engines tumbling through our solar system.
However, the fact that there were no signs of any propulsions nor engines discards the interplanetary-spacecraft theory.
Further research, data analysis and time is required for the scientists to come up with anything conclusive.
‘But there is also the possibility that such a civilization will have hostile intentions and risk our existence, so we should deliberate carefully in any future contact with them.’ Says Professor Avi Loeb, Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University.