Artificial intelligence confirms 301 exoplanets

© ExoplanetNASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Robert Klatt

The AI ​​ExoMiner has confirmed 301 new exoplanets. It is more precise and consistent than experienced astronomers.

Moffett Field (U.S.A.). Scientist of the Ames Research Center at NASA have developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) that has confirmed the existence of 301 exoplanets. The number of known planets outside of our solar system increases to almost 5,000. Previously, other AIs had already confirmed the presence of exoplanets, according to a publication on the preprint server but ExoMiner is the most productive.

According to the developers, the new AI outperforms similar algorithms in various aspects. However, the scientists can only partially understand the decisions made by the neural network. “When ExoMiner says something is a planet, you can be sure that it is,” says project manager Hamed Valizadegan.

Quick search for exoplanets

The search for exoplanets usually takes place in two steps. This can be done much faster by using algorithms such as ExoMiner. As a first step, telescopes are looking for evidence of exoplanets in the orbit of distant stars. These are classified as a possible exoplanet.

These potential exoplanets must then be confirmed by an observation technique other than the find technique. Alternatively, this can also be done using statistical calculations. An AI like ExoMiner provides this mathematical confirmation. Confirmation was previously checked for accuracy on the basis of already classified exoplanets. According to the astronomers, AI is significantly more precise and consistent and even faster than human experts.

Evaluation of data from the TESS space telescope

The developers used data from the Kepler space telescope to train ExoMiner. In the future, the AI ​​will primarily evaluate data from the successor telescope TESS. This searches for characteristic fluctuations in brightness that provide an indication of a passing exoplanet. This means that significantly more exoplanets may be found in the future.


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