Kepler Finds Most Earth-Like Planet Yet
Introducing Kepler 62f, about 1.2K light years away
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2013 4:11 PM CDT
An artist's rendering Kepler 62f.   (NASA)

(Newser) – The Kepler telescope is certainly earning its keep. It has found even more Earth-like planets, NASA announced today, and one is being described as the most Earth-like yet. The news of Kepler-62f comes as part of the discovery of three exoplanets that could possibly support life, explains Space.com. Kepler-62f is just 40% bigger than our own planet, and orbits a star that's only 20% as bright as our sun; the neighboring Kepler-62e circles the same star, which is 1,200 light years away. And as the AP explains, they're just the right size (past ones have been too big, and are likely gas balls like Neptune) and in just the right place (ie, the habitable zone, where it's not too hot or cold) near their star. "This is the first one where I'm thinking 'Huh, Kepler-62f really might have life on it'," says a co-author of the study on the two, published today.

Space.com explains that a separate modeling study indicates the planets might be completely covered in oceans. As for temperature, chief Kepler scientist William Borucki says Kepler-62e is a bit warm, like a Hawaiian world, and Kepler-62f is a bit chilly, more Alaskan. The third exoplanet spotted is Kepler-69c; it's 70% bigger than Earth but revolves around a star much like our own; it's being described as the smallest world located in the habitable zone of a star akin to our sun. These are just the most promising of Kepler's latest lot; an additional four planets were found in the two new solar systems identified, but none of them could support life.

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boxcar
Apr 21, 2013 5:53 PM CDT
In early 50s EC comic books had science fiction stories of expeditions to distant planets wherein it took many generations on board a life sustaining (nuclear driven) spacecraft to make the trip to the promised land. A uninhabitable planet populated by a colony of Orange & Blue robots had progressed to the 20th Century level, so United Planets sent a human to review progress to determine if they were ready to join the Federation What he found was a segregation of dominate Orange and subjugated Blue robot, similar to 20th Century His Judgment call> NOT yet ready. Final frame showed him remove his helmet & he was an Afro-American Magazine was summarily cancelled- my first take (at age 12) on how "America" is actually a Big Lie reinforced later at age 23 when I was told JFK was shot several times with a BOLT ACTION rifle and this was when I was on the Univ. of Okla. ROTC rifle team- none of us could do what Oswald did with our BOLT ACTION target rifles and we were good shots (not enuff time to find trigger & sights) Duh
Tomsylvania
Apr 19, 2013 1:17 PM CDT
Now we have a concrete goal. "This is the first one where I'm thinking 'Huh, Kepler-62f really might have life on it'," says a co-author of the study on the two, published today."
realtruth
Apr 19, 2013 8:03 AM CDT
Ok all you Astro Science Religion Worshipers.. Keep your praying to Hawkins and Roddenberry to a minimum... Do note that the picture is a Artist’s Rendering.. And the planet is 1200 Light years away..