Tuesday, May 10, 2016

NASA Finds 9 Planets Where Aliens Might Live


NASA scientists have discovered nine planets that could be home to alien life among 1,284 newly-validated planets located outside our solar system. 

In the recent batch of planets discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope, nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth, based on their size. Nine of these Earth-size planets orbit in their sun's habitable zone, which is the distance from a star where orbiting planets can have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool. With the addition of these nine, 21 known exoplanets could be suitable for alien inhabitants.


"Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy. Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars,” said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters. "This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever-closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe."

Of the nearly 5,000 total planet candidates found to date, more than 3,200 now have been verified, and 2,325 of these were discovered by the Kepler space telescope.

Image: Artist's concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to date by NASA's Kepler space telescope. Credit: NASA/W. Stenzel