In NASA’s Kepler Survey Catalogue, hundreds of new planets were identified with 10 planets that were the size of the Earth were released.
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National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA) has released Kepler catalogue, releasing 219 new planet candidates outside our solar system out of which 10 are Earth-size in the Cygnus constellation.
A release on NASA’s official website stated, “With the release of this catalog, derived from data publicly available on the NASA Exoplanet Archive, there are now 4,034 planet candidates identified by Kepler. Of which, 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets. Of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.”
“The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs – planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth,” said Mario Perez, Kepler program scientist in the Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. He added, “Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”
So how does the Kepler telescope detect a planet? “The Kepler space telescope hunts for planets by detecting the minuscule drop in a star’s brightness that occurs when a planet crosses in front of it, called a transit,” says the release by NASA.
Kepler telescope’s discoveries of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) and planets within our solar system help us expand our knowledge about the universe and makes us realise that we aren’t the only life in the universe.
How would it be to come face to face with living beings that do no resemble us?
You can read more about the Kepler mission here: https://www.nasa.gov/kepler