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Nasa cries planetary 'bonanza' with 715 new worlds

Published on Feb 27, 2014 3:24 AM
The NASA Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 13, 2010. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Nasa on Wednesday announced a torrent of new planet discoveries, hailing a "bonanza" of 715 worlds now known outside the solar system thanks to the Kepler space telescope's planet-hunting mission.

A new method for verifying potential planets led to the volume of new discoveries from Kepler, which aims to help humans search for other worlds that may be like Earth.

"What we have been able to do with this is strike the mother lode, get a veritable exoplanet bonanza," Mr Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist at Nasa, told reporters.

"We have almost doubled just today the number of planets known to humanity," he said.

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