Blog By mariam | 26-07-19
Salman Khan Is All Set To Become Mama For The Second Time
NASA has found new confirmation of 219 planets outside our Solar System. Ten of those exoplanets appear to be similar to the size of the Earth and orbit their stars in the livable zone — just far enough away to develop water, but not so far that they freeze.
The growing list of Earth-sized planets that occupy our corner of the Milky Way galaxy, supporting the idea that rocky worlds are more common than we once thought. The potential discoveries are part of the final catalog of results being released from the first Kepler space telescope mission.
The Kepler space telescope was launched into orbit around the sun in 2009. Earth-sized planets are of particular interest because they can teach us about how our own planet formed, and because there's a small chance they could harbor life.
Kepler spots planets by looking for dips in the brightness of the stars they orbit, known as a “transit.” When scientists see this happen, they study each signal to confirm that is it coming from a planet passing in front of the star and not some other.
If it is a planet, than Kepler data can be used to determine its mass, size, and orbital period, or how long it takes to go around the star.
Check out the Ten Planets Video Ahead
according to Susan Thompson, a Kepler research scientist for the SETI Institute. “You'd walk in and you go, ‘Looks like a transit. Looks like a transit. Looks like a variable star.’ You know what I mean? It was like, ‘Junk, junk, variable star — ooh, planet!’ It would be like that. We stopped doing it that way,” she said during a NASA podcast interview.
NASA is getting better in identifying Earth-sized exoplanets in other ways, too. The team spent five years working with the operators of the ground-based Keck telescope in Hawaii to study 1,300 stars that hosted planets of these sizes.
Benjamin Fulton, the lead author on this study, called “a major new division in the family tree of exoplanets” In a conference. He compared the identification of these new planet classes to the discovery that mammals and lizards are separate branches on the tree of life.
The division now is between two categories: “super-Earths,” or rocky planets about 1.5 times the size of our own, and “mini-Neptunes,” gassy planets more than 2.5 times Earth’s size. They’re terms were already used but were sometimes considered interchangeable. And It’s an important distinction to make, because Neptune-sized planets are almost always inhospitable to life as we know it. “Our result sharpens up the dividing line,” Fulton Said.