The Kepler mission has stumbled upon even more planets potentially similar to Earth, only adding to the long list of possible planets with life. These new planets orbit stars called Kepler 62 and Kepler 69, 62 being 1,200 light years away and 69 about 2,700 light years away. Around Kepler 62, we’ve found two Earth-like candidates all close to Earth’s size and rocky surface characteristics. Kepler 62e and 62f, as they are called, have years that are 122 days long and 267 days long. Around 69 however, we’ve found the smallest planet around a sun-like star in Kepler’s history. Its name is Kepler 69c, and it is only 70% larger than Earth and has a year of 242 days. All three of these discoveries cannot be reached by ground-based research tools unfortunately, but they are more evidence in the pile that suggests life exists elsewhere in our galaxy.
Diagrams of Kepler-62 and Kepler-69 Systems
- 62e and 62f in the ‘zone’ (smh.com.au)
- NASA’S Kepler Discovers its Smallest ‘Habitable Zone’ Planets to Date (richarddawkins.net)
- NASA has discovered the most Earth-like planets yet (io9.com)