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04-18-13, 05:35 PM #1
3 planets that could be habitable discoveredScientists announced Thursday the discovery of three planets that are some of the best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our own solar system -- and they're very far away.That makes Kepler-62f, thought to be 40% larger than Earth, potentially the most like our planet out of the new discoveries. It could be rocky, Borucki said, with polar caps, land mass and water as well. It goes around its star once every 267.3 days (Earth days, that is).If you were standing on Kepler-62f, the star in the sky would look bigger than our sun does, but "the illumination level would be like walking around on Earth on a cloudy day," Borucki said at a press briefing. "It drops by a factor of five."Kepler-62e appears to be 60% larger than our planet and a little closer to its host star; this one could be a "water world" of mostly deep oceans, he said. It circles its star in 122.4 days."All these planets that we're finding are quite different than planets in our own solar system," Borucki said.Kepler-69c appears to orbit a star similar to Earth's sun, Barclay said. As it's estimated to be about 70% larger than Earth, it may also be a water world, with oceans thousands of kilometers deep. This planet is also exciting because it is the smallest scientists have found that orbits a sun-like star in the habitable zone.It's not likely to have a rocky surface, Barclay said. According to what little we know about it, Kepler-69c is probably significantly warmer than Earth and could be more like Venus."Probably, if there is life, it would be very unlike what we see on our own world," Barclay said.
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