Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Next DoorQuicklink submitted by Kyle McDermott Permalink
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An assortment of planets beyond our solar system is depicted in this artist's concept.
(image by NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech) DMCA
|Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics estimate that six percent of red dwarf stars in the galaxy have Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distances from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. The majority of the sun's closest stellar neighbors are red dwarfs. Researchers now believe that an Earth-size planet with a moderate temperature may be just 13 light-years away. "We don't know if life could exist on a planet orbiting a red dwarf, but the findings pique my curiosity and leave me wondering if the cosmic cradles of life are more diverse than we humans have imagined," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler mission scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.|
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