More than 1,200 new planets confirmed using new technique for verifying Kepler data

Princeton University

In addition, the researchers identified 428 candidates as likely false positives, or signals generated by something other than a planet. However, some scenarios can mimic the signature of a transiting planet, such as two stars that orbit each other, and provide a false positive signal. Distinguishing between true planets and false positives is one of the central challenges for any transiting planet survey, Morton said. Joshua Winn, an associate professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former member of the Kepler team, said that efficient methods to confirm planets will become more crucial as NASA plans and launches more space telescopes, such as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is expected to find tens of thousands of exoplanets. The one-by-one confirmation process of Kepler data has been an obstacle to scientists making as many discoveries from the data as they might have, said Winn, who is the deputy science director of TESS.

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