Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Two New Planets Discovered Using Artificial Intelligence

Using an artificial intelligence algorithm to sift through massive amounts of data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, a team of astronomers, led by an undergraduate at UT Austin, has discovered two new exoplanets. The planets are “super-Earths” — planets about twice the size of Earth—that orbit very close to their stars. With orbital periods of 13 days and 2.5 days, each day on these planets is a scorcher! NOAO astronomer Mark Everett is a member of the discovery team.

Read more in the McDonald Observatory press release.

  • GLOBE at Night Join the international star-hunt campaign, Globe at Night, Aptil 25-May 4. Use a smart phone to submit sky brightness in real time! Visit

  • Observations made with the Event Horizon Telescope have captured the first picture of a supermassive black hole. NOAO Astronomer Tod Lauer is a member of the EHT research team.

  • On April 1, the Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak emerged from hibernation and, for the first time, starlight poured through the six large lenses of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI).

  • How many and what kind of star clusters have been born in the history of the Magellanic Clouds? A new project, the Local Group Cluster Search, invites citizen scientists to help find out!

  • The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, which is being installed on the KPNO Mayall telescope, will use an array of robot fiber-positioners to automatically capture the spectra of 5000 galaxies at a time.

  • A Virtual Tour of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: this visualization, featured in the documentary Seeing the Beginning of Time, gives us a virtual peek inside the LSST enclosure.

  • Astro2020 Science White Paper Coordination Hub: advertise your Decadal Survey science ideas, comment on science white paper topics, & find others with common interests.

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