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December 05, 2011

NASA discovers planet in the habitable zone

For the first time, NASA's telescope, Kepler, has discovered a planet within the hospitable zone of its star. Dubbed Kepler 22-b, the planet is approximately 14 times the size of earth (the radius is 2.4 times larger than earth's), but orbits its star within the "goldilocks zone", the area where liquid water could potentially exist. Assuming that Kepler 22-b has a similar greenhouse effect to Earth, the average temperature would be around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is far from the first of Kepler's discoveries. Although most still need to be confirmed, the telescope has been used to discover over 2,300 planets outside the solar system, quadrupling the number scientists had discovered previously. Among the those planets, about 68 are Earth sized and 54 are in the habitable zone. We may not be able to get a spacecraft there for thousands of years, but discovering such a planet is a huge boon for scientists in their quest to find life. Assuming that we cannot find any in our own solar system, Kepler 22-b may just be our best bet for finding alien life. You can read the whole article here:
http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-telescope-confirms-alien-planet-habitable-zone-162005358.html
By Mike Wall

Posted by mgilbs at December 5, 2011 06:58 PM

Comments

that's an awesome discovery!

Since it met the most important requirement for life (liquid water) and it's in a habitable zone, I have no doubt that we will find life on that planet.

Posted by: amug at December 6, 2011 05:51 PM

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