NASA's Kepler space telescope unveils a wealth of new worlds.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope unveils a wealth of new worlds.
On February 26, 2014, scientists using NASA's Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of 715 new planets within our region of the Milky Way. The number practically doubles the list of planets known to humanity. Kepler spotted 3,600 potential planets within the first two years of operation by detecting slight dips in the brightness of more than 100,000 nearby stars. The challenge, however, is distinguishing the real planets from the fakes, a laborious process that involves sifting through the candidate planets, one by one. But by employing a new method that can verify multiple planets at once, researchers were able to speed up their search. About 95 percent of the newly discovered worlds are smaller than Neptune, with four orbiting within the habitable zones of their host stars. The findings suggest that small, Earth-like planets may be more abundant in our galaxy than previously thought. Watch the video to learn more.


For more information, please visit:
http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/news/149

Short URL to This Page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11466
Animation Number:
11466
Released:
2014-03-13
Completed:
2014-03-12
Writer:
Please give credit for this item to:
Science@NASA and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Images courtesy of NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech


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Learn more about Kepler and its search for planets in this video.
Learn more about Kepler and its search for planets in this video.
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Habitable zone planets (from left to right) Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f are shown here to scale relative to Earth.
Habitable zone planets (from left to right) Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f are shown here to scale relative to Earth.
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Kepler-69c is 70 percent larger than Earth. It completes one orbit around its star every 242 days.
Kepler-69c is 70 percent larger than Earth. It completes one orbit around its star every 242 days.
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Kepler-62e is 60 percent larger than Earth. It completes one orbit around its star every 122 days.
Kepler-62e is 60 percent larger than Earth. It completes one orbit around its star every 122 days.
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Kepler-62f is 40 percent larger than Earth. It orbits a star located 1,200 light-years from our planet.
Kepler-62f is 40 percent larger than Earth. It orbits a star located 1,200 light-years from our planet.
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