NASA's planet-hunting telescope is finding whole new worlds of possibilities in the search for alien life. An early report from a cosmic census indicates that relatively small planets and stable multi-planet systems are far more plentiful than previous searches showed.
NASA released new data Wednesday from its Kepler telescope
on more than 1,000 possible new planets outside our solar system - more than doubling the count of what astronomers call exoplanets. They haven't been confirmed as planets yet, but some astronomers estimate that 90 percent of what Kepler has found will eventually be verified.
Kepler, launched in 2009, has been orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars, conducting a planet census and searching for Earth-like planets since last year. It has found there are more planets that are much smaller than Jupiter - the biggest planet in our solar system - than there are giant planets.