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. Don Andres

    I enjoy new discoveries whether they are true or false, they are very entertaining. The truth will set you free, the lies will work your imagination.

    August 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gwen

    OMG nasa found my home planets the earthling are coming

    August 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miles

      Yes, we are coming to steal all your natural resoures and leave you a greenhouse wasteland

      December 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brickell Princess

    I wish NASA would spend less money on artist's renderings and more on actual pictures! Come on NASA, this is 2010...we are so over the artist's rendering era! With the money you are spending you should be showing us dancing Martians. Don't make me cut your budget down to bottle rockets!

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

      It doesn't really work that way.

      October 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miles

      You do realize that an actual picture just looks like a few pixels right? You wouldn't even come close to comprehending what it is.

      December 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RioZ

    I think it'd be hilarious if the aliens got our messages sent into space, came here, and got off their ships and asked if we've heard the word of Jesus Christ.

    August 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Algae

      Well, not sure it would be hilarious, but it sure would be a game-changer, wouldn't it.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dtseng

    There are so many comments that I stopped reading around the fifth or sixth one; but I do get the feeling that there are some very short-sighted people complaining about NASA's advancement in finding new solar systems and planets. Yes, this article is written in an extremely un-scientific way and yes, this writer should consider moving into another field of journalism and yes, there are many better areas to be spending billions and billions of dollars on. However, what some people don't realize is that NASA's findings may one day save our extremely insignificant species from dying off like sitting ducks in a pond waiting to be shot.

    Maybe I missed the point of the article but it seems like NASA has never found a star with multiple planets orbiting it. Our "Sun" is the only so-far-known-star in the Milky Way (until this finding) to have multiple planets orbiting it. So the fact that we found Kepler 9B and 9C is actually pretty neat, don't you think?

    August 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Right on in the last paragraph. I had assumed planets were a dime a dozen considering just how many there are in every solar system, but I did some research and found that we've only discovered 500 so far so that does make this discovery noteworthy especially when it's the first time we found two in a single solar system. The writer did address this but perhaps did not realize that the public are uneducated in the difficulty of discovering exosolar planets.

      October 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mares

    I want Pluto back.

    August 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • pluto

      that's just too damn bad.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. scofrabra

    They're naming them after our Dear Leader. Barack and Obama

    August 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin S.

    We've come a long way. Instead of debating how many angels dance on the head of a pin, we now debate how many invisible objects orbit a distant point of light based on its flicker or wobble.

    Armed with this kowledge we will....we will...?????????????????????

    August 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Larry

    NASA, however, has yet to discover a single planet with intelligent life.

    August 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phaedrus

      And that, Larry, includes Earth...

      August 27, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jason

    Terrible article with nearly as many factual errors as paragraphs. Where are the editors?

    People should read the NASA Press release if they're interested in learning anything:

    This is one of many (~50) known multiple planet systems. This is, however, the first known multiple-planet system where more than one transit (pass in front of) their parent star. This is significant because transiting planets can tell us a lot more about the star and planet than non transiting planets, and a star with two transiting planets can tell us more about the star and planets than a system with just one transiting planet.

    Also, a third body has not been "discovered." It's not clear yet what it is. It could be a third planet (in which case it would be ~1.5 R_earth), but it could also be something in the background completely unrelated.

    August 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Barb Pernaris

    We are NOT alone... LOL!!

    August 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Doug B

    I am a conservative individual in finance and some in ethics. However, NASA is an incredulously important administration and deserves its fair share of research funds. I am baffled that Obama is scratching our plans to go to the moon and study the effects of isolation from earth (The planned 1 year mission). We are now relying on Russia to go back to the moon and allow them to destroy the asteroid that will almost certainly not hit us anyway. What happened to manned missions to mars and beyond that Bush wanted us to have?

    August 26, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. yea yea

    And knowing there are more planets help the economy how? Seriously we tax payers give too much to this government to be worried about other planets. I would like to know how is knowing about another couple of planets going to help my children go to college, me be able to keep a roof over their heads, or keep my husband from going back on a deployment. Not to be rude but this is flat out a waste of resources and the tax payers money.

    August 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Algae

      Lets leave the question of what the actual knowledge does to help the economy, because it can't be assessed till after we learn the knowledge. It is self evident that some things we learn and discover will have more value than others, but, in general, we have learned that knowledge is worth more than ignorance.

      But from a purely economic perspective, isn't it better to fund projects that: gainfully employ scientists and engineers pursuing knowledge, construction and support workers that build the buildings the scientists and engineers work in, factory workers that make the equipment that the scientists and engineers use, as well as all the other people that work in the grocery and department stores, restaurants, gas stations, car dealerships and other places the scientists, engineers, construction workers, factory workers and others all spend their paychecks. Surely spending money in a way that creates real jobs is better than just giving money away to encourage people to do nothing (welfare, unemployment, farm subsidies, etc.) That the knowledge we gain may actually have economic value above and beyond the real and tangible economic benefits of merely seeking the knowledge is only icing on the cake.

      August 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Algae

      And why in the world would you even consider sending your children to college if there were no decent jobs for them to get?

      August 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Doug B

    Trust me.. The money invested in NASA is likely the least wasted out of all taxpayer dollars. They go to astrologists that have done well in school and know what they are doing. The expansion of knowledge of our cosmo's helps us realize how unique our planet truly is and can explain certain phenomena that occur within our own solar system and future as humans. The stimulus package however, is another story entirely. Money went to investigate why pig's smelled as well as studying bee pollen among other lucrative projects and waste.

    August 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. anonymous

    Life vibrates at different frequencies. Just because you do not see life on a planet, including the moon, does not mean it is not there. Of course, dense matter human brains are not going to understand that.

    August 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
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