‘Planet Kepler’ is celebrating after NASA announced the discovery of two new Planets with the Kepler telescope earlier this evening.
Kepler 20-F and 20-e are both ‘Earth-sized planets’ orbiting their (sun like) star. However, unlike Kepler 22-b (announced by NASA on the 5th December) the two newly found planets are not based in the ‘habitable zone’ where life conditions may be suitable for life to evolve. However, Dr Francois Fressin from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Cambridge has just stated: “This could be an important milestone. I think 10 years or maybe even 100 years from now people will look back and ask when was the first Earth-sized planet found. It is very exciting.”
About Kepler-20F & Kepler 20E
Although Kepler-20f may have a thick water-vapour atmosphere, it’s surface is believed to be too hot for life to exist.
Both Kepler planets are thought to be rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. Kepler-20f’s surface temperature is predicted to be 426C. Kepler-20e’s surface temperature is thought to be 726c.
Both Planets circle their parent star (sun) closely with year-long orbital periods of just 19 and six days respectively.