By Marisa Fernandez - Buenos Aires, Argentina
By Marisa Fernandez – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Using NASA’s Kepler space telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-like planet orbiting a star in a “habitable zone”- the range of distance from a star where liquid water can pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.
The Kepler Mission is a NASA Discovery Program for detecting potentially life-supporting planets around other stars.
Kepler 186f is a satellite poised to find planets 30 to 600 times smaller than Jupiter by the transit method of planet finding. It was specifically designed to examine a portion of our area in the Milky Way Galaxy to discover dozens of planets in or near the “habitable zone” within Cygnus and Lyra constellations.
After its launch in 2009, this is the first detection of an Earth-like planet last week according to astronomers of the NASA Research Center.
The discovery of Kepler confirms that these Earth-like planets exist. Although it is unknown if there are similarities with our planet life astronomers will soon begin more research.
Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics division director at the headquarters in Washington, said, “The discovery of Kepler 186f is a significant step towards finding worlds like our planet Earth.”
Edited by Monica O’Hearn
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