Three New Earth-Like Planets Discovered

January 12th, 2012 at 2:19 pm
 


A group of astronomers, using data compiled from NASA’s Kepler mission, have discovered three alien planets smaller than Earth, all of which orbiting a star much smaller than our Sun.

The planets, which are orbiting a red dwarf star named KOI-961, have 0.78, 0.73, and 0.57 times the diameter of Earth. These alien planets are the smallest discovered so far.

The KOI-961 star is located 120 light years away and can be found in the Constellation Cygnus (The Swan). It is about one-sixth the size of our Sun, making it possible for astronomers to monitor dips in the star’s brightness that lead to the discovery of its orbiting planets.

The scientists hypothesize that the new-found planets are rocky just like Earth, but they are placed so close to the star making it unhabitable by human standards.

Source: Space.com, via Mashable

 

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