Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), the Georg August University of Göttingen and the Sonneberg Observatory have discovered 18 planets beyond the solar system.
An exoplanet is a planet that is found outside the Solar System and orbiting a star.
More than 4,000 of them have been discovered so far, largely by Nasa’s Kepler space telescope, but 96% of these were bigger than Earth.
The whole point of the Kepler space telescope mission was to identify Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of nearby stars.
The scientists re-analyzed a part of the data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope with a new and sensitive method developed by them. They estimate that this new method has the potential of finding 100 additional exoplanets from the entire Kepler mission’s datasheet.
These worlds are so small that previous surveys have overlooked them. However, one among them has the potential to offer condition friendly to life.