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January 24, 2011

Astronomers Identify Rocky Planet Inside Another Star's Solar System

NASA's Kepler Space telescope team have announced the first indisputable detection of a rocky planet outside our solar system. The planet was named "Kepler-10b" and orbits only two million miles from its star. Although Kepler-10b is too hot to possibly sustain life, its discovery is a step toward finding other rocky planets that could possibly be similar to Earth and have the conditions to sustain life.The article goes on to define the conditions that would have to be met to sustain life.

Full Article: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2011-01-23-exoplanet_N.htm

Posted by mwdolan at January 24, 2011 03:43 PM


It is always a big deal when a new planet is discovered by astronomers because it means that might contain life. I find it fascinating that there is the possiblity of life existing outside of our solar system. Even though Kepler-10b is to hot to sustain life, the fact that it is a rocky planet is very important in the search of life on other planets. I found it interesting that one of the astrophysicists, Jonti Horner of Australia's University of New South Wales, said that "[a]lthough no such planets have yet been discovered, the first will be found within the next couple of years". This is a rather bold statement to say because ther are many factors that play into a planet being Earth-like. However, given the number of planets that have already been documented, the possiblity of Earth-like planets and life is almost certain.

Posted by: rymkelly at January 24, 2011 06:15 PM

This is a very interesting article. Scientists are ready to discover "habitable" planets, having many ideas about what to look for in a planet or where to look, yet problems arise when trying to find one. I think these discoveries of such planets will be made, but we first need to determine the conditions in the universe where "habitable" planets may exist.

Posted by: nelalam at January 27, 2011 02:20 PM

I agree that Horner is very bold in saying that we will find a planet with life in the next couple of years. It seems to me that this hunt is still a long way from being over, although we have been making good progress.

Posted by: sekoch at January 30, 2011 10:30 PM

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