Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

NASA Rendering

Astronomers working with NASA‘s orbiting Kepler space telescope claim they’ve discovered an Earth-like planet that’s just 600 light years away.

Named Kepler-22b, experts say it orbits a sun-like star in the so-called “habitable zone,” which is a proximal distance not too close and not too far, where moderate temperatures on the planet would make liquid water – and life – possible.

Thrilled by this new discovery after years of searching for Earth-like planets, Jon Jenkins, co-investigator with the Kepler mission said, “It’s great to be at this point where we have this milestone of finding this first super-Earth planet in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.”

Scientists say that it’s about 2.4 times the size of Earth, and because of its mid-range location in the “habitable zone,” it probably enjoys pleasant daytime temperature of around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celicius).

“Although this planet is over twice the size of the Earth, if it were indeed rocky, you could have liquid water pooling on the surface,” said Jenkins. “And as far as we know, liquid water is required by all life that we know about. So, it’s an incredibly necessary ingredient for life as we know it.”

Jenkins says it will be up to future missions and more powerful telescopes to determine if there actually is life on Kepler-22b, but also points out, that as more data is gathered on this distant world, life beyond Earth seems increasingly possible.

Well, if there are any “Kepler-22b-ings” that happen to be reading this blog, just know that me, Bill Cooper and Agent K are on our way. I’m gassing up the Millennium Falcon with enriched plutonium-244, and without any traffic we should be there by next Saturday.

source – Voice of America