Science

Kepler Space Telescope Detects 10 New Earth-Like Planets

Kepler Space Telescope Detects 10 New Earth-Like Planets”

The final data collected from Kepler's telescope will enable the scientists to determine the possibility that life exist beyond the Earth. So far, the space telescope has discovered over 4,000 new exoplanet candidates, over half of which were later confirmed by follow-up observations.

NASA has launched the Kepler telescope in 2009 and it has already discovered 4,034 potential exoplanets. The Kepler team has found that planets that are about 1.75 times the size of Earth and smaller tend to be rocky, while those that are two to 3.5 times the size of Earth are more gaseous.

Kepler is the first space telescope capable of finding Earth-sized planets in or near the habitable zone.

The announcement was made during a briefing at the Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, as members of NASA's Kepler program revealed the latest results of their planet-hunting effort.

Astronomers on Monday added 219 candidates to the growing list of planets beyond the solar system, 10 of which may be about the same size and temperature as Earth, boosting the chances for life. Among these exoplanets, 49 Earth-like planets have been found orbiting the "habitable zone", the region where planets have the right conditions for harboring liquid water, which in turn makes them capable of supporting life. There have been almost 50 planets that have been detected as the near-earth zone habitable zone candidates and 30 of them have been verified. This is because it contains the population of these near-Earth-size catalog of planets that have nearly the same size and orbit as Earth.

The information has been sourced from the spacecraft's view of a patch of the sky in the Cygnus constellation. He further said that understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of the future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.

Susan Thompson, Kepler research scientist for the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, and lead author of the catalog study said, "This carefully-measured catalog is the foundation for directly answering one of the astronomy's most compelling questions - how many planets like our Earth are in the galaxy?" The new planets, in yellow.

The Kepler space telescope hunts for planets by detecting the minuscule drop in a star's brightness that occurs when a planet crosses in front of it, called a transit.



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