An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun in our solar system. As of 1 April 2017, there have been 3,607 exoplanets discovered in 2,701 planetary systems confirmed, since the first confirmed detection of an exoplanet in 1992.

On 20 April, the MEarth Project announced the discovery of a potentially habitable “super-earth” that could be the most likely exoplanet to host alien life, to date.

The discovery of exoplanets has fundamentally transformed our understanding of planets, solar systems and our place in the galaxy. With the vast amount of these planets discovered in recent years, characterising them is rapidly becoming a big data problem. As a solution, machine learning techniques that mimic human recognition and dreaming processes are being deployed in the search for habitable worlds beyond our solar system.

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