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. Cool

    Can we have Pluto back?

    August 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. james

    New Planets ? Good lets go there, this one blows !

    August 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    People claiming that NASA has a budget of trillions of dollars make me wonder if there's intelligent life on earth.

    The best thing we've done as a species is to stand on this tiny little rock in the middle of nowhere, and, using the best primitive tools we can manage to think up, try to figure out how the whole universe works and try to learn all we can about the universe outside our atmosphere. This more than anything else is what separates man from beast, and it is what makes us human. The driving desire to try to know everything about everything makes us great. It may also one day make us the saviors of all life on earth, if our studies in this field give us the knowledge and ability to avert a planet-destroying event, or to step out into space and to other planets and other stars.

    For people to complain and whine about the 0.6% of the budget that goes to NASA is a betrayal of humanity.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      Intelligent life on Earth itself is yet to be truly discovered.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Roger

    This is going to change the world. Does Earth=world, or does it? Now you are thinking.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John
    You're welcome

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

      ^That's the *informative* article on the NASA announcement. If you're an idiot, don't bother reading it. It's got why the Kepler discovery was such big news.

      "In contrast, the two Saturn-size planets circling a sunlike star now known as Kepler-9, more than 2,000 light-years from Earth, shift their timetable with every go-round. Kepler-9b has an orbit lasting approximately 19.24 Earth days, while Kepler-9c has an orbit lasting a little more than twice as long, 38.91 days. But on average, Kepler-9b's orbit got about 4 minutes longer every time the Kepler astronomers checked, while Kepler-9c's averaged about 39 minutes shorter."

      Basically, the two large extrasolar planets have irregular orbits that are inconsistent in the length of their orbits. We didn't know that was possible. Neptune and Pluto have a *similar* situation, but not exactly and not as extreme.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cavemanstyle

    Don't be confused with intelligent life and humans, they're not synonymous. 🙂

    August 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      Intelligent life on Earth is yet to be discovered!

      August 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Just because you don't see any in yourself doesn't mean there's none out there.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • MR

      @John, have u always been this stupid or is this merely your newest achievement?

      August 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Paulie

    NASA's big announcement space besides our solar system has other planets in it and they know for sure. Feel like privatizing them yet? Government efficiency is great isnt it?

    August 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paulie

    If there is hyperintelligent life elsewhere in the universe and it knows about us no wonder it stays far far away. In fact if I was an alien or a God I would make sure to keep us from reaching the rest of creation to make sure we dont f it up.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Flavaz

    What everyone here seemed to totally miss is that third celestial body which they haven't yet been able to deem a planet and is apparently 1.5 times the size of Earth . Do u really think they don't know whether or not its a planet yet... Ok the media here is just playing their part in softening us up for what is to come. NASA has known bout these planets for a while now....hence the Planet X they've always seemed to deny nuff said ! Pay attention Humanity more revelations to come...I'm so serious ....

    August 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. arghness

    why so many ignorant comments? if you want to optically see a planet orbiting around another star, you'd need a telescope (or array) with a mirror probably the size of earth's orbit around the sun (i.e. radius of ~150 million km). hence, astronomers use indirect effects of planets on their stars to find them - like wobbles & blinking. And no microlenses, please. You are talking about gravity lenses. microlenses are used in MEMS applications and are something else entirely.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cavemanstyle

    Let's hypethesize for a minute, do you think for one second that if a speed of light or faster device was created we "the little people" would ever learn about it.. c'mon man, it could never, ever be revealed, and "they" know it.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Please use a dictionary and grammar that could at least pass for a second grader.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • EnglishGood

      @Cavemanstyle – Me speak English good...

      August 26, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NASA PR Guy

    I'd like to take this moment to that the Arab world for all their assistance in discovering these new planets.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • NASA PR Guy

      this moment to THANK the Arab world ....... :\

      August 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cavemanstyle

    Thanking Arab world.. many thanks...

    August 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    I almost postive there is a earth sized planet directly in line with us on the other side of the sun, that orbits at the same speed and the same direction around the sun (which is why we can't/won't be able to see it). The planet received much acclaim in the widely loved series "Seinfeld" as the "Bizarro Universe"

    Mystery solved, pack up the telescopes...kepler, go home.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pepinium

    To those of you confused by the preponderance of ignorant morons in these postings, and the fact that, while living in the most technologically advanced society in the world, so many seem to mistrust and even hate science: There is nothing surprising about people hating and downplaying what they dont understand. This society has always progressed in spite of the 1000/1 moron to genius ratio. Well, looks like the ratio is getting even steeper , to judge by these postings.

    August 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
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