August 26th, 2010
01:36 PM ET

NASA announces discovery of 2 new planets

An artist's rendering shows two Saturn-sized planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission.

NASA has announced the discovery of two planets, slightly smaller than Saturn, orbiting the same star in the Milky Way, which have been discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope.

William Borucki, the Kepler Mission Science Principal Investigator, at the NASA Ames Research Center, announced on a teleconference "the first discovery of multiple planets orbiting the same star."

The two planets, known as Kepler 9B and 9C, have a clear gravitational interaction, according to NASA.

A third celestial body, has also been discovered. It's about 1.5 times the size of Earth, but it has not yet, been confirmed as a planet.

"The discovery incorporates seven months of observations of more than 156,000 stars as part of an ongoing search for Earth-sized planets outside our solar system," NASA said in a press release.

Read full story on Read more about Kepler mission

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Filed under: Space
soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Steve, you are another non researching loon. Google pictures of moon landing sites. There are PLENTY of new pics from now orbiting moon craft from many nations that have photographed the moon landing sites. Including footprints from the astronauts.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • stormin87

      Thanks, Mike. I never thought of doing that. Cool pics. Seriously. I'm truly serious. I feel like a schmuck for not doing that before.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. picturethisifyouwill

    My how far we have come.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fritz

    "Slightly smaller than Saturn"? Isn't that similar to saying, "Oh, yeah, we've got an asteroid the size of Glenn Beck's ego headed straight for Earth. We should all hide under our workday desks and all will be well in the world!". "Slightly the size of Saturn"? Really, I'm no astronomer but how many Earth's would fit into the Great Red Spot? Kind of like saying Pol Pot was an "irritable dictator" (my apologies to my Khmer friends).

    August 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveM

      "A third celestial body, has also been discovered. It's about 1.5 times the size of Earth, but it has not yet, been confirmed as a planet".

      That's what the excitement is about. Not the Saturn-sized planet. Or can't you read?

      August 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Unit34AHunt

    I wish I could get excited about this but I cannot. Another saturn like planet, jupiter like planet, massive brown dwarf, or close-orbiting fireball world doesn't get my attention. There have been so many already, and we know only a little bit about our own solar system's uninhabitably massive giants.

    Show me a study that has an earth-venus-mars sized planet orbiting another sun in a "sweet spot" orbit and then I'll be more interested in this sort of research. Otherwise, good on you for carrying on the basic science, but I don't really think we need another press conference to announce another gas giant orbiting some distant star.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Growski

    So that means there are 10 official planets in our solar system now? Not including Pluto of course..

    August 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveM

      You obviously didn't read all of the article, it's talking about planets around OTHER stars, not the Sun!

      August 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |

    Oh My God!!! More Illegal Aliens on the way!!!

    August 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SteveM

    Horse manure. They've discovered SEVERAL stars with multiple planets already. This is not the first! How ridiculous. It isn't even in the top 20.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ChiTownPhilly

    No offense to you scientists out there, but this is a big waste of resources. Spend money and brainpower on solving war and hunger issues, climate control, energy dependence!!

    August 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunt

      These aren't scientifically solvable problems. They're politically solvable problems. Basic scientific research always has a payoff in the long run. If you want peace in the Middle East, however, don't get mad at NASA for not being ibvolved in that. Blame the Israelis and their neighbors.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rich_nyc

    Great News NASA!!! I will go outside and tell the homeless war vet in front of my building that he has nothing to worry about. KILL THE NASA BUDGET!!!!!

    August 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunt

      How much money did you give to that homeless guy today? None? What a surprise.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich_nyc

      I actually donate time and money helping homeless. So my question is...Besides Tang, which suck, and amazing amounts of "over budget" projects what good has NASA done?

      August 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Most war is caused by religion. Most religion will die when we finally find other life and prove to all the nincompoops of the world that evolution is true and we aren't made in the image of God. So there will be fewer wars and thus fewer homeless war veterans hanging outside your building.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunt

      Well,don't you mean: "Besides Tang, velcro, materials advances that preserve food such as mylar and the use of microwave sterilization, new medical treatments for allergies (actamine-sudafed combo), medical studies concerning bone and weight loss, earth science studies that have improved weather forecasting, climate forecasting, atmospheric studies of the effects of chemical release of CFCs and SO2, and things of that ilk, What Has Nasa Done For Me Today?"

      Hint: those satellite pictures that allow people about to be swamped by big hurricanes and thereby save thousands of lives? Nasa did that. Telecommunications satellites? NASA helped pioneer that. etc. ad nauseam.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. J M

    The people who scoff at the funding of astronomy and findings like this are part of the problem. You want our species to survive? Let the astronomers do their job.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tim

    It's always exciting to hear these things but... we can't even get along with each other on THIS planet.Now what do you think would eventually happen if we found other civilizations on other planets!

    August 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    Whether the facts in this piece are accurate or not, the news is interesting. ProudCanadian, poverty will never be resolved, as it has been around for centuries. The poor will be poor and the rich will be richer – always. This Earth as any planet or star will not last forever so it is only in our best interest to continue looking out to the stars, whether within our own galaxy or beyond. We may not be around for what happens in the future but someone will so why not try. We have no reason to go to Mars or the moon. We know what's there. The US Space Program needs to focus on moving beyond what they are capable of doing today. As much as I hate to see the Shuttle program eliminated, NASA needs new space ships and these telescopes are just the beginning.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bailoutsos

    Hey, if I can't vacation in Cuba, I want a ticket for Kepler 9B.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TheTruth

    Wow, you all have been mis-lead. Scientists have found a habitial planet right in our own backyard back in the 17th Century. In fact every day, spmeone is shooting a rocket up to it. It is called Your-Anus, but sometimes it's also a black hole.....ha, ha, ha.....

    August 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Colin

    Wait, I don't get it. Maybe I'm missing a subtly in the language, but doesn't OUR solar system have "multiple" planets orbiting the same star (the sun)? Is our solar system unique and so it is a big deal to find another solar system that has multiple planets? I would have assumed there were thousands of known solar systems with multiple planets. Or is it that its really difficult to detect planets and we don't know of many outside of our own solar system and I'm just not up on the reality of space exploration?

    August 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • J M

      That is the beauty of science. We don't make assumptions, no matter how obvious it might be.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Question

      J M answered your question in that with science we can't make assumptions. Our solar system is just one example, that in itself is not proof. Another example of something we assumed but were very wrong about... Using our solar system as our only example decades back it was assumed that rocky smaller worlds were always closer in to their star while the larger gas planets would be farther out. But in all the new systems we have discovered most have large gas worlds in very close to their stars. Some closer in than our own Mercury! This is still not understood fully. And that's the fun of science, sending us back to our drawing boards! 🙂

      August 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
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