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    Are We Alone? NASA Spacecraft Finds 706 Possible Planets

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    SPADEZ
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    Are We Alone? NASA Spacecraft Finds 706 Possible Planets

    Post by SPADEZ on Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:26 pm

    Are We Alone? NASA Spacecraft Finds 706 Possible Planets







    The first 43 days of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft
    have been very productive: the mission looked at over 156,000 stars and
    identified 706 candidates for Earth-like planets. The candidates will
    require follow-up research to determine whether they’re actually
    planets; if all 706 happened to meet the criteria for exoplanets, they
    would just about triple the number of known extrasolar planets.



    The new set of data is exciting for scientists and for alien hunters.
    Identifying planets outside of our own solar system is the first step
    toward identifying planets that could possibly harbor life. After the
    newly-found objects are verified as planets, Kepler can then continue
    observing them to determine if they exist in the “sweet spot” that could
    support liquid water and, by extension, life. Kepler has already
    returned results far above the mission’s leaders’ expectations and will
    continue to watch its little patch of the sky to help us determine
    whether we have company in the galaxy.




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