10 new planets that could have life discovered

Tomas Mccoy
June 20, 2017

"The latest Kepler catalog of planet candidates was created using the most sophisticated analyses yet, yielding the most complete and reliable accounting of distant worlds to date".

The Kepler space telescope closes out its original four-year mission with over 200 new finds, including 10 newfound rocky, potentially life-bearing alien worlds, one of which could end up being a near-twin of Earth.

"The Kepler data is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs - planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth", said Perez.

"Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future Nasa missions to directly image another Earth". It's also the final catalog from the spacecraft's view of the patch of sky in the Cygnus constellation.

The Kepler mission team released a survey of 219 potential exoplanets - planets outside of our solar system - that had been detected by the space observatory launched in 2009 to scan the Milky Way galaxy. Among these hundreds of planets, about 550 of them appear to be rocky planets similar to Earth, and a precious 9 orbit their stars at just the right distance to have liquid water on their surface-meaning that they might support life.

This artist rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows some of the 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and in the habitable zone of their star identified by NASA's Kepler space telescope. Of those, 2,335 are verified exoplanets. If it is a planet, that Kepler data can be used to determine its mass, size, and orbital period, or how long it takes to go around the star.

The search for extraterrestrials just got some serious pin drops on the celestial map with the discovery of 10 new planets that may have life.

Exoplanets are planets that orbit a star outside of the solar system.

The result: 4,034 exoplanet candidates.

The findings were presented at a news conference Monday at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.

"Most of the planets in the first group may be akin to the Earth, with rocky surfaces and little to no atmospheres". Kepler's main mission ended in 2013 after the failure of two of its four wheels that control its orientation in space.

NASA is categorising the two "types" as "super-Earths" and "mini-Neptunes".

Even more remarkable than the sheer number of planets discovered is the method by which Kepler discovered them.

Until KOI-7711 is verified and earns an official Kepler planet name - a process that requires a different telescope (usually ground-based) to observe it transiting - this is all speculation.

"We like to think of this study as classifying planets in the same way that biologists identify new species of animals", said Benjamin Fulton, doctoral candidate at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and lead author of the second study.

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