Joseph Kepler Planet Hunter

NASA’s awesomely named deep-space observatory, the Kepler Planet Hunter, has been designed to scour space for planets less massive than Earth. The latest data, released on February 2, is an astronomer’s dream come true: the Planet Hunter has tagged 1,235 objects as possible planets.

That’s three times as many planets as we’d known about before.

This is fantastic news for those looking to eventually expand our foothold in the galaxy (and there are organizations that strategize how to get there): the more planets we can observe, the greater our chances of finding a second home for civilization. But no doubt the number 1,235 will fluctuate, as some of these planets may be identified as double stars.

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