Out of 219 new planet candidates discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, 10 are near-Earth size and potentially habitable. With unreasonably warm temperatures set to sweep across the U.S. this week, now’s a pretty good time to start planning a visit to more livable climates.
NASA says the data, which was presented at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, has “significant implications for the search for life.”
“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 of Earth,” explained Mario Perez, Kepler program scientist. “Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”
To date, Kepler has discovered 4,034 planet candidates, 30 of which have been verified to be potentially habitable.
NASA says the latest data revealed two distinct size groupings of small planets, including rocky, Earth-size planets and gaseous planets similar in size to Neptune. The data is expected to serve as the foundation for future studies.
“This carefully-measured catalog is the foundation for directly answering one of astronomy’s most compelling questions—how many planets like our Earth are in the galaxy,” said Susan Thompson, Kepler research scientist.
The Kepler telescope has been on a tear lately, unveiling the discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 system, which included seven Earth-size planets in our backyard.
You can learn much more about Kepler’s new data in the link down below.
The TRAPPIST-1 system recently discovered using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope was a big find for scientists. Not only does it have seven planets, but three of them are in the “habitable zone” of the star, where life could potentially exist. But what TRAPPIST-1 look like? In a word, Atari. An animation released by NASA shows the […]
NASA astronomers this week announced its Kepler mission has found an incredible 715 new worlds, suggesting there are many multiple-planet solar systems much like our own. These planets were spotted using a new verification technique from two years’ worth of data collected by Kepler; astronomers surmised that the planets orbit 305 stars. Up top is […]
Scientists say they’ve discovered the most Earth-like planet to date; the rocky planet, Kepler 186f, is considered so Earth-like that it has serious potential to hold water, which could indicate an alien world filled with life. The planet is part of a five-planet system in the Milky Way, and is so far the smallest planet […]