Eighth planet found in faraway solar system, matching ours

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An eighth planet has been found in a faraway solar system, matching our own in numbers.

Even more amazing, machines and not humans made the discovery. NASA joined with Google on Thursday to announce the finding.

This eighth planet orbits the star known as Kepler-90, 2,545 light-years away. Like Earth, this new planet is the third rock from its sun. But it’s much closer to its sun and therefore a scorching 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 Celsius) at the surface.

Google used data collected by NASA’s exoplanet-hunter, the Kepler Space Telescope, to develop its machine-learning computer program. It focuses on weak planetary signals — so feeble and numerous it would take humans ages to examine.

This is the only eight-planet solar system found like ours — so far.

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