NASA explores 10 earth sized exoplanets.
“We like to think of this study as classifying planets in the same way that biologists identify new species of animals,” said Benjamin Fulton
- NASA has announced the discovery of 219 new suspected planets outside our solar system. 10 planets are “rocky” like Earth and which exist in their solar system’s ‘Goldilocks zone’, neither too close to their star, and therefore too hot, nor too far away and too cold for liquid water to exist.
- There are now 4,034 planet candidates identified by Kepler. Of those, 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets. Of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.
- Most planets discovered by Kepler so far fall into two distinct size classes: the rocky Earths and super-Earths (similar to Kepler-452b), and the mini-Neptunes (similar to Kepler-22b). This histogram shows the number of planets per 100 stars as a function of planet size relative to Earth.
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.
- They had been detected by the space observatory launched in 2009 to scan the Milky Way galaxy
- Kepler is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars.Named after astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009, into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit.
- It designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way to discover Earth-size exoplanets in or near habitable zones and estimate how many of the billions of stars in the Milky Way have such planets.
Principle of working:
- Kepler‘s sole scientific instrument is aphotometer that continually monitors the brightness of over 145,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view.These data are transmitted to Earth, then analyzed to detect periodic dimming caused by exoplanets that cross in front of their host star.