New Exoplanet Hunter Makes First 5 Discoveries
The Kepler Space Telescope, a designated planet-hunting satellite, has found its first five planets, among them an odd, massive world only as dense as Styrofoam.
The number of planets now known outside the solar system has risen to more than 400, but none is yet Earth-like enough to harbor life. Right now, Kepler can only detect large planets orbiting close to their stars, which means that these first planets are too hot to hold liquid water, a requirement for life as we know it.
But over the next year, the mission’s scientists will be homing in on ever more life-friendly places.
“We expected Jupiter-size planets in short orbits to be the first planets Kepler could detect,” said Jon Morse, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA in a release. “It’s only a matter of time before more Kepler observations lead to smaller planets with longer period orbits, coming closer and closer to the discovery of the first Earth analog.”
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Nieuwe exoplaneet jager maakt 5 nieuwe ontdekkingen
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