Kepler 10b planet discovered

January 12th, 2011 - 10:14 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Seattle, Jan 12 (THAINDIAN NEWS) The NASA spacecraft, Kepler has discovered the smallest exoplanet so far.

The new planet called Kepler 10b is about 1.4 times the diameter of earth. The discovery of the planet was announced in Seattle during the 217th annual American Astronomical Society meeting.

NASA explained that the planet’s star is the Kepler 10 which is about 560 light years away from earth. Scientists reveal that the planet is 20 times closer to its parent star than the closeness of Mercury to the sun. That takes the surface temperature on the surface of the planet to 1,300 degrees.

NASA believes that the discovery of the planet is a milestone achievement because though the planet is way out of the solar system, the planet is located at a place where scientists believe that life might be possible. The place where the planet was discovered is not within what NASA terms the “habitable zone”.

Kepler scientist Douglas Hudgins explained that, “Although this planet is not in the habitable zone, the exciting find showcases the kinds of discoveries made possible by the mission and the promise of many more to come.”

NASA is searching for another planet that supports life.

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