NASA: Hunt for planets yields surprises

posted by
February 3, 2011
The Washington Post    
Posted in PND News

"New discoveries from NASA’s Kepler space telescope reveal a large and surprising menagerie of planets deep in space, with some almost as small as Earth and others in the 'habitable zones' of their solar systems where scientists think life could exist. With about 1,200 candidate planets now catalogued, Kepler has also identified a solar system with at least six small planets orbiting their sun — all lined up on a disc-like plane similar to our own, according to results released yesterday. The planets -- called exoplanets because they are outside the Earth’s solar system -- are believed to be gaseous rather than rocky and so unable to support life, but the discovery of a system with so many planets and all orbiting in a manner similar to planets in our system has created great excitement." (02/03/11)

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