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Are we alone? Google is Processing Kepler's Data For Ultimate Answer


Google on Sunday announced the release of the Tensor Flow model that processes NASA’s Kepler data that helps make predictions about new exo-planet candidate signals

In a blog, Google said, “We discovered two exoplanets by training a neural network to analyze data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope and accurately identify the most promising planet signals. We consider this a successful proof-of-concept for using machine learning to discover exoplanets, and more generally another example of using machine learning to make meaningful gains in a variety of scientific disciplines (e.g. healthcare, quantum chemistry, and fusion research).”

Google said it was releasing its code for processing the data, training the neural network model, and making predictions about new candidate signals. “We hope this release will prove a useful starting point for developing similar models for other NASA missions, like K2 (Kepler’s second mission) and the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission. As well as announcing the release of our code, we’d also like take this opportunity to dig a bit deeper into how our model works,” Google added.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Here's to others discovering new planets with machine learning as well!”

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope made its latest discovery using machine learning from Google, the US space agency said. "The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google," NASA officials said. "Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data," they said.


Kepler has gazed at more than 150,000 stars and continues to transmit back data that leads to important discoveries of celestial objects in our galaxy, including first-time observations of planets outside our solar system.

When Kepler launched in March 2009, scientists did not know how common planets were beyond our solar system, according to NASA.

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 US space agency said.
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