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Posts Tagged ‘Kepler telescope’

Scientists Discover 1 Planet Orbiting 2 Stars

September 16, 2011 Comments off

voanews

Photo: NASA
Artist’s conception of planet (dark circle) orbiting two suns

Astronomers say they have discovered a planet that orbits around a pair of stars.  It is the first time a so-called circumbinary system has been detected.

Movie fans might be familiar with the score of “Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope,” the blockbuster movie from 1977.  Luke Skywalker stands on his stark home planet Tatooine.  As he gazes pensively into the distance toward a pinkish sky, an orange sun descends toward the horizon, with a smaller white sun following close behind.

Well, move over, Tatooine, says John Knoll of Industrial Light and Magic, which Read more…

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68 New Earths and 288 New Super Earths: The New Kepler exoplanet data – NASA videos and pictures

February 3, 2011 Comments off

NASA press release on the 1202 new Kepler telescope exoplanets.

Exoplanets classified by size which are:

- 68 Earth-size exoplanets with a radius (Rp) of less than 1.25 Earth radius (Re)
- 288 super-Earth size exoplanets with 1.25 x Re < Rp ≤ 2.0 x Re - 662 Neptune-size exoplanets with 2.0 x Re < Rp ≤ 6.0 x Re - 165
Jupiter-size exoplanets with 6.0 x Re < Rp ≤ 15 x Re - 19
very-large-size with 15.0 x Re < Rp ≤ 22 x Re

“We went from zero to 68 Earth-sized planet candidates and zero to 54 candidates in the habitable zone – a region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Some candidates could even have moons with liquid water,” said William Borucki of NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and the Kepler Mission’s science principal investigator. “Five of the planetary candidates are both near Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their parent stars.”

Kepler will continue conducting science operations until at least November 2012, searching for planets as small as Earth, including those that orbit stars in a warm habitable zone where liquid water could exist on the surface of the planet. Since transits of planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars occur about once a year and require three transits for verification, it is expected to Read more…