01-06-2015, 08:17 PM #1
Kepler: near-twins distant, but no hill for a stepper
AP Technology, via ABC:
Astronomers to Earth: You've Got Some Newly Found Near-Twins
Earth has a few more near-twin planets outside our solar system, tantalizing possibilities in the search for extraterrestrial life.
Astronomers announced Tuesday that depending on definitions, they have confirmed three or four more planets that are about the same size as Earth and are in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold "Goldilocks Zone" for liquid water to form.
These planets are likely to be rocky like Earth, and not gas giants or ice worlds. They get about the same heat from their star as we get from the sun, according to the latest results from NASA's planet hunting Kepler telescope.
Life conceivably could evolve and adapt to those temperatures, Guillermo Torres, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said.
Oh, and they aren't actually within commuting distance of Earth. Those two are 500 and 1,100 light years away; a light year is 5.9 trillion miles.
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