The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has called a press conference on Thursday to announce a "new" discovery by its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope that can be the turning point in its hunt for alien life. However, the exact details of the press conference have not been revealed.
"The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google. Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analysing Kepler data," the official media advisory of NASA said.
NASA said that although its primary mission is to look for exoplanets (a planet which orbits a star outside our solar system), it is also tasked with "studying young stars, supernovae and other cosmic phenomena."
According to the agency, the media teleconference will be held on Thursday at 1 pm EST (1800 GMT) and will talk about the latest discovery made by the telescope that was launched in March 2009 to search for alien worlds.
Reports said that the media will be briefed by four participants at the press conference. The names are as following:
- Paul Hertz, director of NASA's Astrophysics division at the agency's headquarters in Washington, DC
- Christopher Shallue, a senior software engineer at Google AI in Mountain View, California.
- Andrew Vanderburg, astronomer and NASA Sagan postdoctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Austin.
- Jessie Dotson, Kepler project scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
Where to watch the event live online
People who are interested to watch the live-streaming of the press conference can visit the official page of NASA Live to enjoy the event live online. Apart from this, Space.com will also stream the event live on Thursday.
Kepler space telescope
Launched on March 6, 2009, Kepler telescope is widely considered to be the most successful planet hunter that has so far discovered 2,337 confirmed exoplanets and 4,496 candidate exoplanets. According to reports, most of these discoveries were made between 2009 - 2013.
"Thanks to Kepler's treasure trove of discoveries, astronomers now believe there may be at least one planet orbiting every star in the sky," the press release stated.