NASA telescope finds more than 1,000 planets -- still no aliens

As far as Tuesdays go, NASA had a pretty good one. Astronomers announced the discovery of 1,284 new planets.

The planets are orbiting distant stars way outside our solar system and are known as "exoplanets."

The exoplanets were spotted by the Kepler Space Telescope, which has been in orbit since 2009. This new discovery more than doubles the amount of confirmed planets Kepler has noticed since its launch.

Kepler tracks the dimming of distant stars to determine if possible planets orbit around them. A new statistical method helped scientists confirm that the telescope really was seeing an exoplanet.

According to NASA, almost 550 of the confirmed exoplanets could be rocky planets like Earth. What’s more, nine of them orbit their sun within a distance that allows water to pool.

One scientist said, "This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth."