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 CNN.com

NASA.gov: Read more about Kepler mission

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Filed under: Space
soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. ajit pahwa

    We need to look after the people are living now in this world, I agree with "ddude64", we should spend money on thing we need now not on which we may never be able to see or use in the next 100/200 or 500 years for that matter.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunt

      NASA's budget is trivial compared to the amount of money the USA wastes on Medicare, elective wars, and defending other nations by keeping permanent troop deployments overseas. IMO we should increase NASA's budget, and reduce the budgets of programs that transfer American wealth to other nations.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich_nyc

      Unit34AHunt.... If we cut the budget do you lose your job? Tough luck if that happens pal. Maybe you will have to actually work for a living...

      August 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Right! Cause your life now is so important than anyone else's in the next 100 – 500 years.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • give me a break

      Why is it so hard for people to conceptualize the future of our species as further than within their own short lifetime? YOU ARE INSIGNIFICANT. Get over it.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunt

      No, I won't lose my job, since I'm not employed in space science. And yes, I think if your're complaining about NASA's budget because you didn't get a big enough public support check, you're not one to be telling others they aren't working hard enough.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich_nyc

      My career and finances do not rely on Govt assistance. I have several employees and yes, in fact, I can comment on how hard a person is not working.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunt

      Sorry, Rich, pimping doesn't count as "work."

      August 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MassiveMarbles

    We are able to travel outside of our solar system. NASA just won't admit it because we'd literally would have to send kids for them to be of use once the end of the solar system was reached or we'd have to do more work in cryogenics to have people in suspended animation. Something that people don't understand is space is full of energy, we can acquire the actual energy needed to propel a ship from space itself. Otherwise, we need only carry life support energy.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. yogi

    Independence Day........get Will Smith ready

    August 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Borris

    Yes, but how will this help us catch Moose and Squirrel???

    August 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunt

      We attach rocket to lady moose and lady sqvirrel. When moose and sqvirrel catch lady moose and lady sqvirrel, we launch rocket and WHOOSH! No moose, no sqvirrel.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • oneStarman - Walla Walla, WA

      SPECTROSCOPIC ANALYSIS has indicated that one of the Planets is composed almost entirely of upsidaisium is a rare mineral that possesses antigravity properties. NASA intends to send a PROBE piloted by large mechanical mice who will chew out the mineral with their pointy teeth and return it to our base on the moon – unless intercepted by FEARLESS LEADER.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. yogi

    Send in the military drones......seems to work everywhere else in the world

    August 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hector Da Clown Valenz

    Ok so if 2 planets have been Discovered, Is there any proof about the one thats heading our way? i believe its call?.....Nibiru also known as Planet X?. Why isn't any one paying attention to that one?

    August 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • oneStarman - Walla Walla, WA

      We have been told to WATCH THE SKIES!

      August 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Wilson

    It just amazes me how there are billions and billions (sorry I went Carl Sagan there) of planets and stars out there...yet they are so far away it's impossible in our lifetime to reach any of them.

    It's like our planet is out on the BFE end of the galaxy.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Einstien'sDreams

      Our solar system is located in the outer reaches of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is a spiral galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy contains roughly 200 billion stars. Most of these stars are not visible from Earth. Almost everything that we can see in the sky belongs to the Milky Way Galaxy, but it's actually easier for us to look beyond our galaxy, being on the out-most arm of the Milky Way, then it is to look across it and into the center due to the dust and billions of other starts.

      The sun is about 26,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is about 80,000 to 120,000 light-years across and less than 7,000 light-years thick. It takes the sun (and our solar system) roughly 200-250 million years to orbit once around the Milky Way. In this orbit, we (and the rest of the Solar System) are traveling at a velocity of about 155 miles/sec (250 km/sec).

      August 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Skyjim

    Folks the mission of Kepler is to determine how common – or rare – earth-sized planets in Earth-type orbits are. For those who are disparaging this as wasteful because "We can't go there" – you're missing the point. I think this is one of the most profoundly important missions ever undertaken! No matter what the results, whether Earth-types around other stars are incredibly rare, non-existent, or abundant, these results will have huge effects, not just scientifically, but sociologically. If we KNOW that there are many planets similar to Earth in size and orbit, it will change how we view ourselves and our relationship to the cosmos. If we KNOW that Earth is an against-all-odds exception, that also will change our outlook!

    For those who wonder why they are looking so far away, that is so we get a statistically significant sample group that we feel is representative of the stars populating our region of the galaxy. You need big numbers to use the transit method effectively for this mission, and looking into the rich star clouds of Cygnus and Lyra provides that. This is just a large-scale survey, guys!

    August 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • oneStarman - Walla Walla, WA

      I CAN'T WAIT for some kind of indication that LIFE is not confined to this Tiny Blue Dot hanging in the Black that we seem bent on destroying. However, two Gas Giants do not a HAVEN for life make – please keep looking.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. frogers

    let's start drilling! drill baby drill.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sdfasdf

    Wow the person who wrote this article has no idea what they are writing about.

    The discovery of 2 planets orbiting the same star isnt news. We know of many multi planet system so far, with between 400-500 confirmed exosolar planets(all discovered in the last few years)

    The real news is keplers(its a satalite) initial data having 700 possible(they need to be confirmed with detailed observations) planet discoveries. As well as a possible that is the smallest yet.

    Kepler will likely discover a few thousand planets in the next couple years. Possibly 10s of thousands. And considering that only 1% of stars or so that it looks at are even in the right orientation for it to see anything.....that means there are a massive number of planets out there. (billions in our galaxy).

    As for those saying we waste too much money on science liek this....heh There are many every day modern technologies people use without thinking about them that owe their existence to the space program. Our entire modern way of life would not be possible without it.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveM

      Well said sdfasdf. Glad to see someone posting here that actually knows what they're talking about, unlike the person who wrote the article.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Barbara

    I can think of alot more worthwhile things that we could be spending all this money on. Just a thought.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveM

      Shallow minded people are incapable of understanding the value of science.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Maybe we should spend more on science education so people understood why this, among other scientific studies, is important.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Algae

      I can too. But I can also think of a lot more things that are significantly less worthwhile that we spend money on too. Personally, from a purely economic perspective, I can't think of too much that is more worthy of investment of our resources than science and education.
      But from a human perspective, the thing that sets us apart from all the other species on this planet is our enormous capacity to think, learn, explore, discover, aspire and dream. To not do such things would be the real waste.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • LoveThisStuff

      We all have our opinions, I believe that the money spent on this was very worthwhile!

      One thing to consider. Money wasn't wasted, it wasn't piled into a rocket and dumped into space. The money was paid to a company that employs scientists and engineers. From it came the probe that allowed this discovery. On that probe were new more sensitive sensors. This is work that can be used elsewhere. (They company can find other uses hopefully for it.) The continuing budget employs the staff collecting the data, etc...

      The money spent on this probably employed at one time or another hundreds of highly educated people who use their paychecks to pay taxes, buy stuff, raise their families, and contribute to our society. And as a bonus we get a new method to find planets. Excellent investment!

      August 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. robodeo

    Hey Fritz; Saturn has rings, it's Jupiter that has spots.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SteveM

    It always amuses me whene articles like this come out. It only serves to demonstrate how ignorant the media writers are about science, they always make mistakes. And then we get the really ignorant people making comments on things they know absolutely nothing about after just skimming the article and not reading the important parts. I get a good laugh every time.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Algae

      I think you've summed it up pretty well. And while I do get some laughs, it is kind of sad too.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kellerdave

    LMAO at Borris

    August 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robbie

    They took our jobs!!

    August 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
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