20 Dec 2011

NASA is going to reveal new planets discovered by the Kepler space telescope today in a press conference.  You can monitor NASA TV for the conference.  Kepler has been in orbit since 2009 and is designed to hunt planets in distance solar systems.  NASA recently revealed a planet that exists in a habitable zone of a star 600  light years away, called Kepler-22b.

 


Artist Rendering of Kepler-22b

The overall number of known worlds discovered to date, beyond our own solar system are in the 700+ range, both via Kepler and other observation methods.

Check back to this post for updates later.

UPDATED:

NASA announced the detection of the first Earth sized planets outside our solar system today in the press conference.  Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, both too close to their host star to be in the habitable zone, however.  These are the smallest exoplanets found around a star like our own.  Read more details on NASA's news article here.


Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech


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