NASA on Tuesday said 1,284 new planets had been discovered by the Kepler space telescope, marking the biggest batch of exoplanets ever announced at one time.
Nine of the planets could potentially be habitable due to surface temperatures that would allow liquid water to pool, NASA added. The Kepler telescope, which launched in 2009, has now discovered 21 exoplanets with similar characteristics.
Kepler is the first NASA mission to find potentially habitable Earth-size planets.
“This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth,” Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.
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