An artist’s rendition of planet HD 219134b, the closest confirmed rocky exoplanet discovered outdoors our photo voltaic system. At 1.6 occasions the scale of Earth it orbits its star each three days. 


Trying round at Earth’s neighbors, it is honest to say we’re on probably the most livable planet in our photo voltaic system. (Raise your recreation, Mars.)

However whereas Earth appears distinctive in with the ability to assist life, it is most likely not the one planet within the universe with that distinction. 

There are different planets, generally known as exoplanets, that are rocky orbs like ours and which orbit their very own stars in different photo voltaic methods. If these planets exist within the so-called Goldilocks zone — the orbital distance round their star that makes them not too scorching and never too chilly — then they may have the circumstances (and, most significantly, the liquid water on their floor) to assist life. 

On this week’s episode of Watch This House, we check out NASA’s hunt for exoplanets and the position the Kepler spacecraft has performed in looking out “Earth analogs.” 

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NASA’s attempting to find exoplanets, and it is obtained its eye on…


Launched in 2009, Kepler has discovered greater than 2,600 confirmed exoplanets, in addition to an additional 2,700 which can be potential candidates. Kepler hunts out these planets by observing stars in several photo voltaic methods and on the lookout for dips within the star’s brightness that point out a planet is passing in entrance of the star. We are able to then use that info to calculate the scale of the planet and its orbit. And utilizing additional details about the star in that individual photo voltaic system, we will work out whether or not the planet could be liveable. 

However whereas Kepler has had a stellar success charge find planets doubtlessly like our personal, it might quickly attain the top of its lifetime. The spacecraft has been out and in of sleep mode because it tries to preserve gasoline to make sure its observational knowledge makes it again to Earth. 

However even after Kepler floats out to the nice past, our hunt for Earth’s cousins will not be over. In July, when Kepler was as soon as once more positioned in hibernation, NASA started testing the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc (TESS) forward of its personal planet-hunting mission

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