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  #1  
Old 12-05-2011, 04:15 PM
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Earth Like Planet Confirmed

Should I be packing my bags?

Kepler 22-b: Earth-like planet confirmed
Artist's conception of Kepler 22-b The planet lies about 15% closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun
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Astronomers have confirmed the existence of an Earth-like planet in the "habitable zone" around a star not unlike our own.

The planet, Kepler 22-b, lies about 600 light-years away and is about 2.4 times the size of Earth, and has a temperature of about 22C.

It is the closest confirmed planet yet to one like ours - an "Earth 2.0".

However, the team does not yet know if Kepler 22-b is made mostly of rock, gas or liquid.

During the conference at which the result was announced, the Kepler team said that it had spotted some 1,094 new candidate planets.

The Kepler space telescope was designed to look at a fixed swathe of the night sky, staring intently at about 150,000 stars. The telescope is sensitive enough to see when a planet passes in front of its host star, dimming the star's light by a minuscule amount.

Kepler identifies these slight changes in starlight as candidate planets, which are then confirmed by further observations by Kepler and other telescopes in orbit and on Earth.

Kepler 22-b was one of 54 candidates reported by the Kepler team in February, and is just the first to be formally confirmed using other telescopes.

More of these "Earth 2.0" candidates are likely to be confirmed in the near future, though a redefinition of the habitable zone's boundaries has brought that number down to 48.

Kepler 22-b lies at a distance from its sun about 15% less than the distance from the Earth to the Sun, and its year takes about 290 days. However, its sun puts out about 25% less light, keeping the planet at its balmy temperature that would support the existence of liquid water.

The Kepler team had to wait for three passes of the planet before upping its status from "candidate" to "confirmed".

Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet," said William Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at Nasa's Ames Research Center.

"The first transit was captured just three days after we declared the spacecraft operationally ready. We witnessed the defining third transit over the 2010 holiday season."

The results were announced at the Kepler telescope's first science conference, alongside the staggering number of new candidate planets. The total number of candidates spotted by the telescope is now 2,326 - of which 207 are approximately Earth-sized.

In total, the results suggest that planets ranging from Earth-sized to about four times Earth's size - so-called "super-Earths" - may be more common than previously thought.

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Old 12-05-2011, 05:00 PM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed


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Old 12-06-2011, 02:00 PM
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NASA May Have Found a Planet Similar to Earth


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This diagram compares our own solar system to Kepler-22, a star system containing the first "habitable zone" planet discovered by NASA's Kepler mission.
Quote:
(Reuters) - The most Earth-like planet ever discovered is circling a star 600 light years away, a key finding in an ongoing quest to learn if life exists beyond Earth, scientists said on Monday.

The planet, called Kepler-22b, joins a list of more than 500 planets found to orbit stars beyond our solar system. It is the smallest and the best positioned to have liquid water on its surface -- among the ingredients necessary for life on Earth.

"We are homing in on the true Earth-sized, habitable planets," said San Jose State University astronomer Natalie Batalha, deputy science team lead for NASA's Kepler Space Telescope that discovered the star.

The telescope, which was launched three years ago, is staring at about 150,000 stars in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, looking for faint and periodic dimming as any circling planets pass by, relative to Kepler's line of sight.

Results will be extrapolated to determine the percentage of stars in the Milky Way galaxy that harbour potentially habitable, Earth-size planets.

This is the first detection of a potentially habitable world orbiting a Sun-like star, scientists reported in findings to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Kepler-22b is 600 light years away. A light year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion km).

GROUND TELESCOPES

Planets about the same distance from their parent stars as Earth take roughly a year to complete an orbit. Scientists want to see at least three transits to be able to rule out other explanations for fluctuations in a star's light, such as small companion stars. Results also are verified by ground and other space telescopes.

Kepler-22b, which is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth, sits squarely in its star's so-called "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on the surface. Follow-up studies are under way to determine if the planet is solid, like Earth, or more gaseous like Neptune.

"We don't know anything about the planets between Earth-size and Neptune-size because in our solar system we have no examples of such planets. We don't know what fraction are going to be rocky, what fraction are going to be water worlds, what fraction are ice worlds. We have no idea until we measure one and see," Batalha said at a news conference at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffet Field, California.

If Kepler-22b has a surface and a cushion of atmosphere similar to Earth's, it would be about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 C), about the same as a spring day in Earth's temperate zone.

Among the 2,326 candidate planets found by the Kepler team, 10 are roughly Earth-size and reside in their host stars' habitable zones.

Another team of privately funded astronomers is scanning the target stars for non-naturally occurring radio signals, part of a project known as SETI, or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

"As soon as we find a different, a separate, an independent example of life somewhere else, we're going to know that it's ubiquitous throughout the universe," said astronomer Jill Tarter, director of the SETI Institute in Mountain View.

The Kepler team is meeting for its first science conference this week.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7B501D20111206

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Old 12-06-2011, 02:25 PM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed

cool

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Old 12-06-2011, 02:57 PM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed

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Should I be packing my bags?
6 trillion miles is a walk in the park considering the size of the known universe.


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Old 12-06-2011, 03:20 PM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed



no technology yet to transfer humans there :)

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Old 12-06-2011, 06:49 PM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed

we dont need to fuck up another planet just drop some nanderthals of and let shit evolved oh thats right human cloning is illegal >:(

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Old 12-06-2011, 06:50 PM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed

fucking geneva convention

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Old 12-07-2011, 08:26 AM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed

Well they took a planet from us so it is only fair that they give one back. Neat article!

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Old 12-08-2011, 08:37 AM
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Re: Earth Like Planet Confirmed

Yay, we've found something else we can fuck upper!

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