Thursday, January 10, 2013

Most Earth-like Exoplanet

The Daily Mail reports on a possible exo-planet (the discovery has not yet been confirmed) that could be the closest match yet to Earth:
An alien planet spotted by Nasa's Kepler space telescope is the best candidate yet for an Earth-like world beyond our solar system, Scientists claim.
The planet - whose existence is yet to be positively confirmed. has a radius that is just 1.5 times that of our own and orbits in the 'habitable zone' of a star similar to our own Sun.
That means the planet would likely have a similar amount of gravity as Earth and liquid water could exist on its surface - making it a prime candidate to host alien life.

... The possible planet is called KOI 172.02 - with the initial trio of letters standing for Kepler Object of Interest, a prefix given to all planetary candidates found by Kepler until their existence is confirmed.
Dr Batalha said the find had the potential to be the closest so far to an Earth-twin beyond the solar system. It orbits a G-type star that is only slightly cooler than our own Sun, she said.

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