NASA Has Discovered 10 New Rocky Planets Like Earth
NASA has announced that they discovered 219 new suspected planets. These planets are all located outside our solar system. 10 of those planets are “rocky” like Earth and they exist in a solar system called ‘Goldilocks zone’.
The planets are neither too far away from their star, neither too close which means they aren’t too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist. Water presence is the key factor for life existance.
NASA, with the Kepler space telescope, has managed to discover more than 4000 suspected exoplanets.
“This carefully measured catalogue is the foundation for directly answering one of astronomy’s most compelling questions – how many planets like our Earth are in the galaxy?” explains Susan Thompson, a research scientist at the SETI Institute, which searches for signs of extra-terrestrial life.
In their statement, NASA explains:
“There are now 4,034 planet candidates identified by Kepler. Of which, 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. Additionally, results using Kepler data suggest two distinct size groupings of small planets. Both results have significant implications for the search for life.”
Mario Perez, who is a Kepler programme scientist at NASA explains the importance of Kepler’s space telescope.
“The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogues – planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth. Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future Nasa missions to directly image another Earth,” he explains.