Even more amazing, machines and not humans made the discovery. NASA joined with Google on Thursday to announce the finding.
Tune in Dec. 14 to https://t.co/4ppqT2pUXN to hear about our planet-hunting @NASAKepler mission’s latest discovery, which was made by researchers using machine learning from @Google. Have questions? #askNASA Details: https://t.co/cJl5VqAgqR pic.twitter.com/DfDjKuoL6M— NASA Kepler and K2 (@NASAKepler) December 8, 2017
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.