Has Earth’s Twin Been Found?

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The Kepler telescope has discovered 1,284 new exoplanets, doubling the number of known alien worlds.

Nearly 550 of the new planets could be rocky planets like Earth, and nine of these are in their habitable zone – meaning they could host life.

‘This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth,’ said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at Nasa.

The announcement was made today at an eagerly awaited Nasa press conference.

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Kepler has discovered 1,284 new exoplanets, doubling the number of known alien worlds. 'This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth,' said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at Nasa. This artist's concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to dateKepler has discovered 1,284 new exoplanets, doubling the number of known alien worlds. ‘This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth,’ said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at Nasa. This artist’s concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to date.

WHAT HAS BEEN FOUND? 

For 1,284 of the candidates, the probability of being a planet is greater than 99 percent

Nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth, based on their size.

Nine of these 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 exoplanets now are known to be members of this exclusive group.

An additional 1,327 candidates are more likely than not to be actual planets, but they do not meet the 99 percent threshold and will require additional study. 

The remaining 707 are more likely to be some other astrophysical phenomena. This analysis also validated 984 candidates previously verified by other techniques.

Dr Natalie Batalha said the calculations so far suggested there could be tens of billions of habitable planets in the Milky Way.

‘If you ask yourself where is the next habitable planet likely to be, it’s within about 11 light-years, which is very close,’ she told the BBC.

Analysis was performed on the Kepler space telescope’s July 2015 planet candidate catalog, which identified 4,302 potential planets.

For 1,284 of the candidates, the probability of being a planet is greater than 99 percent – the minimum required to earn the status of ‘planet.’

An additional 1,327 candidates are more likely than not to be actual planets, but they do not meet the 99 percent threshold.

The remaining 707 are more likely to be some other astrophysical phenomena. This analysis also validated 984 candidates previously verified by other techniques.

‘Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy,’ said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at Nasa Headquarters

‘Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars’

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).