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Planet in habitable zone discovered 600 light-years away

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  • Todd Greene
    NASA s Kepler Mission Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star (NASA, 12/5/2011)
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2011
      NASA's Kepler Mission Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star
      (NASA, 12/5/2011)
      http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepscicon-briefing.html
      [go to link for full article]

      Excerpt:

      NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets.

      The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don't yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets.
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