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Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Planet Discovered

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the golden age of science and technology and how planets are being discovered at an amazing rate. I received an email from a retired teacher who corrected me, telling me that there are only 8 planets. Period.

Well, this might come as a shock to some but scientists are discovering thousands of planets. One that was recently discovered is of particular significance because it is almost a "cousin" to Planet Earth. It is only slightly larger and it has great promise of liquid water on its surface.

Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

It was discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope in the Constellation Cygnus. It is approximately 500 light-years away from Planet Earth and revolves around a star similar to our sun. However, at the star's brightest part of the "day" the light is only as bright as our sun is close to sunset, so the planet is likely to be much colder than Earth.

This new discovery was named Kepler-186f. The next steps would involve discovering the planet's composition. This would provide information to scientists on the likelihood of life forms on that planet, ranging from microbes to more advanced forms of life.

For more information, visit NASA's website.