Science

Kepler Telescope Finds 20 Earth-Like Planets Potentially Capable Of Hosting Life

Kepler Telescope Finds 20 Earth-Like Planets Potentially Capable Of Hosting Life”

The planets discovered aren't yet fully confirmed - thanks to a glitch in Kepler's recording of the spot in the sky where the new planets were found - but the researchers are still extremely confident that they exist, and that at least some of them are potentially habitable. A tool called Robovetter was used to create the new catalog.

Scientists determined in the study that the planets have about a 70 to 80 percent chance of being good candidates for habitable worlds, but it will take more research to confirm that.

Of these 20 "new" worlds, many orbit stars not unlike the Sun.

One of them is particularly fascinating, as it is remarkable similar to Earth. The planet is 97% the size of Earth, has an orbit of 395 of our days, and is likely covered by a cold tundra-though not so cold that it can't support life.

The researchers further added that 219 of the total candidates are new entries into the catalog that were detected earlier this year.

According to NASA's Kepler website: "Since Kepler launched in 2009, 21 planets less than twice the size of Earth have been discovered in their star's habitable zone-the region in a planetary system where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet".

One of the planets specifically, designated KOI-7923.01, orbits its start in much the same way as Earth orbits the Sun. The celestial body is only a bit bigger than our planet, at 1.3 Earth radii.

"This new result presented today has implications for understanding the frequency of different types of planets and galaxies, and helping us to advance our knowledge on how planets are formed", said Mario Perez, Kepler program scientist at NASA.



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