- Four of 715 newly discovered planets may support Earth-like life
- It’s the biggest single discovery of planets in history
- All were found in the first two years of the Kepler telescope’s voyage
- NASA expects next batch of data to reveal more habitable planet
(CNN) — Our galactic neighborhood just got a lot bigger. NASA on Wednesday announced the discovery of 715 new planets, by far the biggest batch of planets ever unveiled at once.
By way of comparison, about 1,000 planets total had been identified in our galaxy before Wednesday.
Four of those planets are in what NASA calls the “habitable zone,” meaning they have the makeup to potentially support life.
The planets, which orbit 305 different stars, were discovered by the Kepler space telescope and were verified using a new technique that scientists expect to make new planetary discoveries more frequent and more detailed.