11 New Planetary Systems Discovered

11 new planetary systems.  Sweet. I get dibs on naming them.  I want to name one after each of the Ninja Turtles.  Even if other things have been named after the artists the turtles were named after.  The solution is simple.  Have one named Leonard (Turtle), Michaelangelo (Turtle), etc.

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope has found 11 new planetary systems, including one with five planets all orbiting closer to their parent star than Mercury circles the Sun, scientists said on Thursday.

The discoveries boost the list of confirmed extra-solar planets to 729, including 60 credited to the Kepler team. The telescope, launched in space in March 2009, can detect slight but regular dips in the amount of light coming from stars. Scientists can then determine if the changes are caused by orbiting planets passing by, relative to Kepler’s view.

[Via The Chicago Tribune]

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