Wednesday, 2 February 2011

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft discovers potentially terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of stars

NASA's Kepler mission, which was launched in 2009, has found its first earth sized plants. Several of them could lie in the habitble zone of their stars, meaning in a suitable distance for them to be neither too hot, nor too cold.
Of the 54 new planet candidates found in the habitable zone, five are near Earth-sized. The remaining 49 range from double the size of earth up to larger than Jupiter.


The findings increase the number of planet candidates identified by Kepler to-date to 1,235. Of these, 68 are approximately Earth-size; 288 are super-Earth-size; 662 are Neptune-size; 165 are the size of Jupiter and 19 are larger than Jupiter.
This brings the total nomber of exoplanets found to nearly 1800. Considering that only half a century ago astronomers argued that there may not even be any planets around other stars this number is truly staggering.

In this same release, NASA scientists anounced that they found a planetary system that beares resemblance to our own, only that it seems to be shrunk down. In the planetary system Kepler-11, six planets have been found to orbit, all of them however closer to their star than Venus in our solar system.

An artist's impression of the Kepler-11 planetary system. (Credit: Photograph: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle/Nature Magazine)

Of course all this data has to be verified and double checked by other telescopes and astronomers, however if proven this could well be one of the biggest finds ever.
It may well be that NASA has found an Earth twin in another solar system.


I will write more about exoplanets, and specifically this batch of data from Kepler as soon as more information is found or released on it.

34 comments:

  1. It's amazing how they can work this out by looking at the difference in light intensity when the planet is infront of it. I don't understand why they thought no other planets existed though.

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  2. i agree with the previous comment, thats really awesome.

    followed ;)

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  3. O.O awesome.. you just gotta love the things technology can do nowadays.

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  4. wow interesting stuff, wouldn't suprise me at all if a planet similar to earth that could sustain life would be found.

    Following for more

    http://randomthingsmitch.blogspot.com/

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  5. It's amazing what beautifull wonders lie somwhere there that we don't eaven realize

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  6. Very good blog:) Keep posting

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  7. Damn, that was fast.
    Surprising how quickly it found some planets of proper potential

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  8. This is huge. Next stop, more terraforming research!

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  9. We won't be here for as long as it takes to develop technology to travel the space

    This is sad

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  10. Awesome find.. we need a new solar system. Ours is so 5 billion years ago xD

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  11. wow, science is really amazing... followed :D

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  12. I love love space, I often take long exposure shots of space/stars/nebulas using my cameras. I want to learn so much more about space.

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  13. Lets hope they work out how to bend time and space so we can get there in our lifetimes. Apparently they have already warped some stuff from one side of the earth to the other already, but the don't want to risk people just yet.

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  14. When I was younger I was very into astronomy, but i don't have time for it anymore...

    Following, I will check your blog from time to time :)

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  15. Cool I love this kind of stuff.

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  16. this is exciting stuff, really like discoveries like this

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  17. Zzz, call me when we find life.

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  18. And next aliens, haha. But really this blog is super coola nd I just learned a lot I cna't wait to check some of your other stuff out!

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  19. Isnt it marvelous how we are this smart after supposedly being cavemen?

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  20. They're already here... NASA should focus on exploring our planet instead... they'd have a better chance of finding extraterrestrials...

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  21. wow this is awesome news. i wonder when we will be able to colonize other planets

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  22. Wow big news, keep us updated.

    Following for Avatar like planet,
    U Laugh U Lose
    http://ulaughulose.blogspot.com/

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  23. If there are another life forms in the universe, how are they looking ? Not like my sister I hope, haha.

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  24. I love hearing things like this, it makes you realize just how amazing the universe is...

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  25. I heard about this on the news, it's shame how viewing a different solar system is such a easy feat in comparison to traeling to a different solar system.

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  26. Oh man. News like this gets me so excited.

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  27. ;A; I am so scared about the possibilities of other life forms! I've had such a horrible phobia of Aliens ever since I was a kid! Granted, I shouldn't be so afraid since I'm pretty damn sure there is other life out there. OH well.

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  28. Awesome, I believe in the next 100 years they will find life on other planets.

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  29. Amazing article! Following for sure!

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  30. have you heard about the bacteria they found that's alien?

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