Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Practically Next Door | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 04.13.15

Airborne 04.14.15

Airborne 04.15.15

Airborne 04.16.15

Airborne 04.17.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 04.13.15

Airborne 04.14.15

Airborne 04.15.15

Airborne 04.16.15

Airborne 04.17.15

Mon, Feb 11, 2013

Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Practically Next Door

Research Shows Nearest Planet Suitable For Liquid Water May Be Just 13 Light-Years Away

Using publicly available data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) estimate that six percent of red dwarf stars in the galaxy have Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distances from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.

The majority of the sun's closest stellar neighbors are red dwarfs. Researchers now believe that an Earth-size planet with a moderate temperature may be just 13 light-years away. "We don't know if life could exist on a planet orbiting a red dwarf, but the findings pique my curiosity and leave me wondering if the cosmic cradles of life are more diverse than we humans have imagined," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler mission scientist, NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.
 
The research team analyzed 95 planet candidates in the Kepler catalog orbiting 64 red dwarf stars. Most of these candidates aren't the right size or temperature to be considered Earth-like, as defined by the size relative to Earth and the distance from the host star. However, three candidates are both temperate and smaller than twice the size of Earth.
 
Red dwarf stars are smaller, cooler, and fainter than the sun. An average red dwarf is only one-third as large and one-thousandth as bright as the sun. Consequently, the not too hot or not too cold habitable zone would be much closer to a cooler star than it is to the sun. "This close-in habitable zone around cooler stars makes planets more vulnerable to the effects of stellar flares and gravitational interactions, complicating our understanding of their likely habitability,” said Victoria Meadows, professor at the University of Washington and principal investigator with the NASA Astrobiology Institute. "But, if the planets predicted by this study are indeed found very nearby, then it will make it easier for us to make the challenging observations needed to learn more about them, including whether or not they can or do support life."
 
The three planetary candidates highlighted in this study are Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) 1422.02, which is 90 percent the size of Earth in a 20-day orbit; KOI-2626.01, 1.4 times the size of Earth in a 38-day orbit; and KOI-854.01, 1.7 times the size of Earth in a 56-day orbit. Located between 300 to 600 light-years away, the three candidates orbit stars with temperatures ranging from 3,400 to 3,500 degrees Kelvin. By comparison, the temperature of the sun is nearly 5,800 degrees Kelvin.

(Image provided by NASA shows artist's concept of planet in orbit around a Red Dwarf star)

FMI: www.nasa.gov


Advertisement

More News

Airborne 04.17.15: DC Gyroplane Fallout, ICAS Airshow Update, Message To Space

Also: Blue Origin, Flying Cucumber?, BBJ Combi, NetJets Partners w/Ohio State, ExIm Helo Deal, Long-Range Navy UAS Obviously, the stunt pulled by Douglas Hughes of Ruskin, Florida >[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (04.19.15)

"Scientific literature is filled with papers on the characteristics of Pluto and its moons from ground based and Earth orbiting space observations, but we’ve never studied Pl>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (04.19.15): Air Navigation Facility

Air Navigation Facility Any facility used in, available for use in, or designed for use in, aid of air navigation, including landing areas, lights, any apparatus or equipment for d>[...]

India’s Heritage Aviation Acquires Two H125 Helicopters

Company Has Special Focus On Pilgrimage Tours In an acceptance ceremony held today in Marignane, India’s Heritage Aviation received two H125 helicopters acquired for charter >[...]

Boeing Supports Allen University, Provides Grant Award

Quarter-Million Dollar Investment To Help Restore Historic Chappelle Auditorium Boeing has presented a $250,000 grant for Allen University to support the restoration of an historic>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC