Since its 2009 launch, the Kepler Space Telescope has detected more than 2,300 probable new planets 115 verified new worlds around the universe, and its latest package of discoveries is perhaps its most impressive.
In two quick reports, Kepler added 41 new confirmed planets to its ever-growing list recently, raising the total number of exoplanets ever found by mankind to nearly 800, according to reports.
“Typically planets are announced one or two at a time — it’s quite exceptional to have 27 announced in a single paper, or 41 in two,” said Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics in Batavia, Ill and a lead author of one of the reports. Steffen was interviewed by Space.com. “It goes to show how rich the Kepler data are and how useful these new methods can be.”
Kepler finds new planets by zooming in on distant stars and looking for minute drops in light output caused by an object crossing across it. The 41 planets were found in 20 different star systems.