NASA discovers super-Earth planet
Tue, 06 Dec 2011 10:24:53 GMT —
NASA scientists say after years of searching, they've found the next "super-Earth"... Literally speaking.
Planet Kepler 22-b is more than two times the size of Earth and lies about 600 light-years away with a balmy, Key West-like temperature of about 72 degrees.
The Associated Press reports Kepler 22-b is closer to its sun than Earth is to our Sun, but since the star emits 25 percent less light, the environment would support the existence of liquid water.
"Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet," said William Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at Nasa's Ames Research Center, to BBC News.
Its existance also suggests other planets as large as four times the size of Earth--what scientists dub "super-Earths"--are more common than previously thought.
"This is a superb opportunity for Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) observations," said Jill Tarter, the director of the Center for Seti Research at the Seti Institute, to BBC News.
Would you take a trip to Kepler 22-b? Live there? Or are you more excited about the possibility of scientists finding extraterrestrial life on the planet? Leave your comment below with us.