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NASA's Kepler discovers three potentially habitable planets

Mark Hearn, @misterhearn
April 18, 2013
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NASA's Kepler telescope has discovered three "super-Earth-size" exoplanets that are close enough to their stars to make them possibly suitable for water. Two of the planets (Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f) orbit a K2 dwarf estimated to be around 7 billion years old. Measuring at two-thirds the size of our sun, this cosmic lantern is orbited by a total of five planets, three of which are too close to be habitable for life. Kepler-69c, the biggest of this newly discovered trio is estimated to be 70 percent larger than Earth and takes 242 days to revolve around its sun-like star Kepler-69. While there's great excitement surrounding these new findings, this isn't the first time we've spotted a potentially habitable planet. A little over a year ago Kepler discovered Kepler-22b, an exoplanet about 600 light-years away from Earth believed to be covered in liquid. Like their predecessor, NASA has yet to determine if these newfound planets actually have water or a rocky composition. Until then, Ridley Scott might want to hold off on naming them as locations for his sequel to Prometheus.

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