The new discovery was announced by NASA this week at a scheduled press conference.
Discovered via the Kepler Telescope, a total of 219 new planets were identified, with 10 being in the noted ‘goldilocks’ zone – the exact distance requirements from its star to meet temperature requirements capable of sustaining life as we know it.
“There are now 4,034 planet candidates identified by Kepler. Of which, 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets,” NASA wrote in a statement. “Of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.”
“Additionally, results using Kepler data suggest two distinct size groupings of small planets. Both results have significant implications for the search for life.”
The latest addition of planets to the roster brings the total of known planets to over 4,000.
“The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs – planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth,” said scientist Mario Perez.
“Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”
— NASA (@NASA) June 19, 2017