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Star system has record eight exoplanets

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    KeplerImage copyright NASA
    Image caption Artwork: The Kepler telescope was launched to detect new worlds using the “transit method”

    Nasa has found a distant star circled by eight planets, equal to the complement in our own Solar System.

    It’s the largest number of worlds ever discovered in a planetary system outside our own.

    The star known as Kepler-90, is just a bit hotter and larger than the Sun; astronomers already knew of seven planets around it.

    The newly discovered world is small enough to be rocky, according to scientists.

    Engineers from Google used a type of artificial intelligence called machine learning to find planets that were missed by previous searches.

    The discovery was based on observations gathered by Nasa’s Kepler Space Telescope.

    “This makes Kepler 90 the first star to host as many planets as our own Solar System,” said Christopher Shallue, a software engineer at Google, which contributed to the discovery.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42356305

    Some 3,500 exoplanets – worlds circling other stars – have been documented in recent decades.

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