Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

June 2012
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected - a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

"This is the best case for a habitable planet yet found. The results are absolutely rock solid," University of California, Berkeley astronomer Geoff Marcy, who had no role in the discovery, said in an email.

The planet was detected by NASA's orbiting Kepler telescope, which studies the heavens for subtle changes in brightness that indicate an orbiting planet is crossing in front of a star. From those changes, scientists can calculate a planet's size and make certain inferences about its makeup.

The newfound object, dubbed Kepler-186f, circles a red dwarf star 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. A light-year is almost 6 trillion miles.

The planet is about 10 percent larger than Earth and may very well have liquid water - a key ingredient for life - on its surface, scientists said. That is because it resides at the outer edge of the habitable temperature zone around its star - the sweet spot where lakes, rivers or oceans can exist without freezing solid or boiling away.

The find "is special because we already know that a planet of this size and in the habitable zone is capable of supporting life as we know it," lead researcher Elisa Quintana of NASA's Ames Research Center said at a news conference.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 1b66e7cc89a742a6b7876ce22c3eb8b1
Top Classifieds
  • HAVANESE PUPS AKC Home Raised, Best H ... Details
  • • Old English Bulldog Puppy$ ... Details
  • 2 year old female yellow lab, registe ... Details
  • Adorable Puppies Yorkie Mix. Tails &# ... Details
  • PILLOW TOPmattress sets NEW in plasti ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • Hummel Figurines, Bells & Platesi ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't b ... Details
  • OWN YOUR OWN HOME -AS LOW AS $500 DO ... Details
  • 3 BD, 2.5 BA, 1900 sq ft, 1 mi. from ... Details
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan 4 dr. 70K ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. NO. 1 Kentucky leads nation in lung cancer cases
  2. 3 killed in gunfire at clinic
  3. Blame tantrums on excessive coddling
  1. Black Friday less frantic this year
  2. Mystery surrounds 2 deaths
  3. McCracken District Court
  1. Columnist's viewpoint on patriotism displeasing
  2. NO. 1 Kentucky leads nation in lung cancer cases
  3. 3 killed in gunfire at clinic

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...