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. Ron

    Two planets......thats nice!
    I'm still waiting for the "Jestons" flying cars they promised us 20 years ago!

    August 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. w l jones

    There of planets teams with life not that far from here some have people same as we are and they are not light years away. Spending a few dollars is peanut for the presivation of we earthlin to start over in a new world.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Columbia

    The new thing here is not that there are two large planets or even the Super-Earth planet. Although missed in the article, the new thing is the successful use of the "Transit Timing" technique. This gives scientists a new tool for studying planetary systems. If you don't find that interesting, I suggest you try the "Entertainment" tab. Perhaps Paris Hilton is behaving badly today.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    So what? We can't send a probe there – it's too far. Then what good is it? We already know the universe is filled with an untold number of stars and planets. This is like saying, "Hey, guess what! I just saw another fish swimming in the ocean!" Completely useless information. All this does is give some guy at JPL a research job with a salary payed for with my tax dollars, and at the end of the day all we will hear is, "Yeah, it's really big. We think it's atmosphere is 85% methane. It might have some satellites. It could change how we think about exosolar planets." Thanks, but no thanks. How about some breakthroughs in energy production/propulsion systems? It feels like we've made very little significant progress for the last 10 or more years.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Donovan

    The next announcement will undoubtedly be that they have weapons of mass destruction and we need to disarm them. It will cost $500 Trillion and we need to ram it through Congress by Friday night.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Vocal Citizen

    Fantastic. When can we set up a colony so I can get the hell off this rock?!

    August 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MR

    Unless NASA announces that they found aliens, I am not interested. If you poke a telescope into the sky and keep looking you will keep on finding planets left and right, it is no news to me. Aliens...now that is news!!

    August 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Earthlike planets increase the probability of life elsewhere in the universe.

      Evidence of other planets increase the probability of Earthlike planets.

      We're not going to see an advanced civilization on another planet at the distances we're looking, but we can see planets that would be ideal for further investigation. If we were able to see an advanced civilization on another planet, the speed of light would mean they're decades to centuries more advanced than us, depending on the distance of the planet from us. Better hope they're friendly, and that they tolerate fools.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dave

    The quality of the writing in these articles is getting worse and worse:

    A third celestial body, has also been discovered.

    Who decided that needed to have a comma? I am not trying to be the grammar police but it seems like if anyone can use punctuation correctly it should be the people who are writing for a living.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      hey Dave, how r u buddy? Long time no see..

      August 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwighthuth

      Don't feel bad, I just spelled amongst amongest.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Arick

    O hai guyz, science is useless since I am too stupid to understand it and everything I don't understand is a waste of money!

    Some seriously dumb people on here today.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      stupid is as stupid does!

      August 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jamie

    Sadly it doesn't matter if they are discovered. We are too busy fighting amongst ourselves about the Invisible Men in the sky to put in the work needed to actually visit a different planet.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Daniel

    Good science like this is needed to refute dummy Christians who buy into stuff like "The Privileged Planet." Christians are easily duped into thinking this planet is unique in all the universe.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      Daniel, didn't I tell you to get lost with your religion related comments, this is a science article, you dumbwit!

      August 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Daniel you just have to get a little dig in at religious people, no matter how irrelevant it is, don't you?

      Anyway, scientifically speaking, we will have quite a challenge finding a planet with surface temperatures around that of the earth's and with enough water and with oxygen in the atmosphere. Not to mention finding one that won't take us millions of years to get to.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      you don't think the Earth is a privilaged planet? with all the various life forms and oxygen and water to support them? even if we find a planet like earth, i'd still think the Earth is one of the privilaged planets don't you think? by the way, you haven't proved you are not dumber than 'dumb' christians yet. have you?

      August 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      MR, I guess you're too dumb to realize the prior post was a political comment, not a religious one. And I guess you're too dumb to acknowledge that the primary benefit of this type of science is to quash the ideas of religious whack jobs.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      Sorry Daniel if I have offended you. Okay let me say this in the best way you can understand. Take your religious rant to the religion section, ever learned science in school? When the intelligent life on Earth talks about science, the unintelligent species on this planet (that is you) come up with useless comments and interrupt a nice debate.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Algae

      I probably wouldn't have used the term privileged, but it is not inappropriate. I superscribe more to the rare-earth philosophy. There is no doubt in my mind (as small and imperfect as that might be) that there a planets (maybe millions) out there with life on it, but significantly fewer with intelligent life, and even fewer with technologically developed life. If you look at it that way, maybe we are privileged.

      August 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    Nerds.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AJ

    Jesus people, be happy this is being reported at all. To each of you complaining that this isn't worthy of being reported because it's not new, don't complain when people say they want to cut the funding for this type of research. If you want funding, you need to be of value. If you want to be of value, people need to be interested. Do you see where I'm going with this yet? If not, let's continue...if you want people to be interested, you have to remind them you exist by making what you do simple enough for everyone to understand.

    Yay for people being interested in things that're cool.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Texas Conservative

    Papa Mike

    Donna there are only 9 planets in our solar system, and we've known for years that none can support human life.

    **Hey Papa, they don't count Pluto as a planet anymore, there are now only 8... And the way you put it, even the Earth cannot support life... Read what you've written before you post!**

    August 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Futon Torpedo

    That's all nice and fine but unless you have the following: Faster Than Light propulsion, Deflector shielding, anti radiation shielding & Photon torpedos.... we won't be able to visit.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Did we complain about the Wright Brothers and the development of propeller planes because we didn't yet have jet engines or spacegoing rockets?

      You have to crawl before you can walk, you have to walk before you can run, and you have to start before you can finish.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Algae

      @John,

      Well, actually we did. At least there were religious complaints (If man were meant to fly, he (or she) would have wings), economic complaints (interesting, but no real practical applications) and the usual selfish complaints (yea, so how does this help me) But I get your point.

      August 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
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