Get ready because this Thursday, December 14, NASA is going to be making an announcement about its Kepler mission, which hunts for planets beyond the Solar System.
NASA hasn’t yet announced what they’ll be revealing, but in a statement they did say it was related to machine learning.
“The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google,” NASA said. “Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data.”
A live stream will take place at 1pm EST (6pm GMT) to announce the latest discovery, with a number of scientists in attendance to discuss the findings.
NASA often uses these sorts of events to make announcements from its Kepler telescope. In the past, we’ve been treated to the discovery of new Earth-sized worlds, and worlds that look potentially habitable.
The telescope was launched in 2009, and since then Kepler has found thousands of planets – our most successful planet-hunter by far. Kepler finds planets by noticing the dip in a star’s light as they pass in front, known as the transit method.
It completed its primary mission in 2012, when two of the four reaction wheels used to position the telescope failed. It then began a second phase of the mission, called K2, using the Sun’s light as a makeshift reaction wheel to point it towards distant stars.
What this latest finding will be about, well, we’ll have to wait and see.