Thursday, April 18, 2013

3 Possibly Habitable Planets (Picture of the Day: 4/18/13)

Artist's conception of Kepler-62e and -f. Source

Just today, NASA announced that their Kepler mission has discovered three new Earth-like exoplanets that are in the right spot to support life. The first two planets both orbit the star Kepler-62, about 1,200 light years away. The first planet, Kepler-62e has an orbit, or "year", of 122 days, and the second, Kepler-62f, has an orbit of 267 days. Both of these planets are about the size of Earth and orbit in the "Goldilocks zone", the distance from a star where the temperatures are "just right". The third planet orbits Kepler-69 and is about 70% larger than Earth. This planet has an orbit of 242 days.
In coming years, missions like TESS will allow us to know more about the composition of these planets, but for now it's exciting to see that these planets exist and to know that there is a very good chance that life exists elsewhere in the universe.
For more information, check out this article.

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