On February 2, 2011, NASA announced that its Kepler space telescope found its first Earth-size planet. In fact, it found five Earth-size planets all orbiting about one star, Kepler-11.
on 02/04/2011 – Made popular on 02/04/2011
A study from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has announced that there are about one hundred possibly habitable rocky planets about the size of Earth or larger within 30 light-years from our planet.
The Kepler Space Telescope has observed a Jupiter-sized planet traveling across its parent star. And, it is only reflecting about 1% of the light that impinges on it — making it appear as the blackest, darkest exoplanet ever known.
How about a planet that acts like a comet! The Hubble Space Telescope has found planet HD 209458b. NASA says it is a gas giant that is so close to its star—about 4 million miles away—that its atmosphere is escaping into space so fast that the created winds look like a sweeping tail of a comet.
The Earth has a tail and this dusty feature has been mapped by the Spitzer Space Telescope. Such a mapping is helping astronomers find very distant planets around other stars than our Sun, what are called extrasolar planets.
The first glimpse of our planet Earth from outer space happened 45 years ago when the U.S. Lunar Orbiter 1 took a picture of Earth on August 23, 1966 while orbiting the Moon. Now, Neil Armstrong makes a rare public appearance in Australia to comment on the future of U.S. space exploration.
A team of U.S. astronomers has discovered a planet that is only a bit more massive than Earth, and they found it in the parent star's habitable zone, so it has the potential of harboring life. This is big news because the exoplanet is the first Earth-like planet found in the so-called Goldilocks Zone.
Written by: William Atkins | Published in: SpaceA planet has been discovered circling Alpha Centauri B, a star that is about 4.3 light-years away from Earth. Other than our Sun, Alpha Centauri B, along with two companions, is a member of the closest star system to us. This discovery is exciting to astronomers, and adds to the hundreds of planets already found orbiting stars.