Sunday, 25 June, 2017

NASA telescope finds 10 more planets that could have life

Details of the Kepler Space Telescope mission NASA IN NUMBERS Details of the Kepler Space Telescope mission
Michele Estrada | 20 June, 2017, 01:19

The Kepler spacecraft continues to make observations in new patches of sky in its extended mission, searching for planets and studying a variety of interesting astronomical objects, from distant star clusters to objects such as the TRAPPIST-1 system of seven Earth-size planets, closer to home.

NASA announced the discover of 550 rocky planets in May, nine of which orbited their stars' "Goldilocks Zones" and were of a similar size to Earth. And it only looked in a tiny part of the galaxy, one quarter of one percent of a galaxy that holds about 200 billion of stars. Scientists believe liquid water is a key ingredient for life.

In science, "Earth-like" worlds are loosely defined as terrestrial worlds that have a chemical composition that is similar to our own planet and orbit in a relatively young star's habitable zone (the "habitable zone" is defined as the orbit around a star where liquid water could theoretically exist on a planet's surface).

WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA's planet-hunting telescope has found 10 new planets outside our solar system that are likely the right size and temperature to potentially have life on them, broadly hinting that we are probably not alone. It's created to find rocky planets (not gaseous ones like Jupiter) that are located in habitable zones of stars where temperatures are temperate enough to potentially sustain life as we know it. As it trailed behind Earth's on its yearly trip around the sun, Kepler constantly watched more than 160,000 stars for any hint of dimming. And It's an important distinction to make, because Neptune-sized planets are nearly always inhospitable to life as we know it. Additionally, 21 of those planets have been determined to be in the habitable zone, where conditions would be those that could allow possible forms of live to survive or even thrive.

"There are now 4,034 planet candidates identified by Kepler", NASA said in a press statement.

"It's like finding what we thought was a single species of animal is really two different things", said Benjamin Fulton, a graduate student in astronomy who analysed the Kepler data. The talk among scientists at a Kepler conference in California this weekend is that it is closer to 60 percent, he said.

Kepler-186f, a potentially habitable Earth-like exoplanet.

Including other telescope surveys, scientists have confirmed the existence of almost 3,500 planets beyond the solar system.

"I'm looking forward to 2030s", said Courtney Dressing, NASA Sagan Fellow.

Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. "You'd walk in and you go, 'Looks like a transit".

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.

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