Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Earth-like planets found

19.04.2013
A team of scientists, including Carnegie’s Alan Boss, has discovered two Earth-like planets in the habitable orbit of a Sun-like star. Their work is published in Science Express.

Using observations gathered by NASA’s Kepler Mission, the team, led by William Borucki of the NASA Ames Research Center, found five planets orbiting a Sun-like star called Kepler-62.

Four of these planets are so-called super-Earths, larger than our own planet, but smaller than even the smallest ice giant planet in our Solar System. These new super-Earths have radii of 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.9 times that of Earth. In addition, one of the five was a roughly Mars-sized planet, half the size of Earth.

Kepler-62 is one of about 170,000 stars observed by the Kepler Space Telescope, with a mass about 69% of that of our Sun. The Kepler Space Telescope reveals for planets orbiting a star by detecting a small, temporary dimming of the star as a planet passes between it and the telescope.

The two super-Earths with radii of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth radii orbit their star at distances where they receive about 41% and 120%, respectively, of the warmth from their star that the Earth receives from the Sun. The planets are thus in the star’s habitable zone; they have the right temperatures to maintain liquid water on their surfaces and are theoretically hospitable to life.

Theoretical modeling of the super-Earth planets, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f, suggests that both could be solid, either rocky--or rocky with frozen water.

“This appears to be the best example our team has found yet of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star,” Boss said.

Caption: This artist's conception depicts Kepler-62e, a super-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. Kepler-62e orbits it's host star every 122 days and is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth in size. Scientists do not know if Kepler-62e is a waterworld or if it has a solid surface, but its discovery signals another step closer to finding a world similar to Earth. Image is courtesy of NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech.
Kepler was competitively selected as the tenth Discovery mission. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Keck Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The Spitzer Space Telescope is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Funding for the Stellar Astrophysics Centre is provided by The Danish National Research Foundation.

This research was supported by DFG funding ENP Ka 3142/1-1; NAI; the ASTERISK project (ASTERoseismic Investigations with SONG and Kepler) funded by the European Research Council (Grant 267864); NASA through the Kepler Participating Scientist Program; NSF via grant AST-1109928; NASA ADAP12-0172; the Kepler Participating Scientist Program (PSP) through grant NNX12AC76G; by NASA PSP grants NNX08AR04G and NNX12AF73G; NSF Career grant AST-0645416.

Alan Boss | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ciw.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>