5 New Earth-Like Planets Spotted
Hello, is anyone out there?
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff | Suggested by AstroDude
Posted Feb 3, 2011 3:23 AM CST
Updated Feb 3, 2011 4:25 AM CST
This rendering shows Kepler-11, a sun-like star around which six planets orbit outside our galaxy.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – Scientists have spotted five new planets orbiting stars in our galaxy that are close to the size of Earth and are located in a "habitable zone," according to researchers. They're the right distance from their stars that make the existence of life-essential liquid water possible. The planets are among a treasure trove of more than 1,000 new planets located by the space-traveling Kepler telescope. Another 49 planets beyond our galaxy—ranging from twice the size of earth to as large as Jupiter—are also located in habitable zones. The findings, as well as the promise that many more planets remain to be discovered, boost scientists' hope that life has gained another foothold somewhere else in the stars, notes CNN.

"It's very likely that life is common in our galaxy," said William Borucki, chief scientist of the Kepler mission at NASA's Ames Research Center in California. Among Kepler's discoveries is a mini-solar system 2,000 light years away with 6 planets orbiting their star. Kepler's telescope is currently only surveying a tiny fraction of its spacecraft's field of view, Borucki pointed out to the San Francisco Chronicle. That means that within 3,000 light-years from Earth there's likely some 20,000 exoplanets in habitable zones, he said.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
meyrhonz
Jan 16, 2013 12:17 AM CST
I knew it. But many just don't believed it. At church, we talk about it, we wonder about it, because we are certain about it. And thank NASA, they had proven that what I have believed is not in vain. Scientist must have consented us so they will be certain about their theory, haha. We strongly believed that there are billions of earth-like planets out there that are inhabited with humans too. A Lord's modern prophet "Willford Woodruff" has said (if I understood it right), a little spiritual truth is better than theories of men. Just like Albert Einstien has said: "Given the millions of billions of Earth-like planets, life elsewhere in the Universe without a doubt, does exist. In the vastness of the Universe we are not alone." --The Bible According to Albert Einstein
SPHeroid
Feb 3, 2011 8:44 PM CST
Take planet in habitable zone... Add water and ample Sun-light.... Shake well.... Wait 3-4 billion years... Enjoy trolls on NEWSER like web sites...
AstroDude
Feb 3, 2011 8:28 PM CST
Of the 54 new planet candidates found in the habitable zone, five are near Earth-sized. The remaining 49 habitable zone candidates range from super-Earth size -- up to twice the size of Earth -- to larger than Jupiter.