Space

Amateur Astronomers Find 15 Possibly Habitable Planets

Will there be enough bureaucrats to regulate each one?

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Volunteers from the Planethunters website have identified 15 new habitable planet candidates among data collected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft.

One of the 15, a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the solar-type star KIC 12735740, has been officially confirmed as a planet (with 99.9 percent certainty). Named PH2 b, it is the second confirmed planet to be found by Planethunters.org, part of the Oxford University-led Zooniverse citizen science project that turns raw data over to keen amateur researchers. The remaining 14 planet candidates are at least 90 percent likely to be planets.