Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Kepler 22b - the 'new Earth' - could have oceans and continents, scientists claim


Kepler 22b, the planet which scientists say hold the best hope yet for future human habitation, could have continents, oceans and creatures already living on its surface, they believe. 

 The new planet was discovered by Nasa’s Kepler space telescope two years ago but new research has identified it as the most similar to our own yet discovered.

Kepler 22b is about twice the size of Earth and has temperatures which average around 72 degrees (22 Celsius).
It also contains the right atmosphere to potentially support life. However, there is a downside: it is 600 light years from Earth.
Kepler 22b is the first so-called "super-Earth" known to lie within the "habitable" zone of a star similar to our Sun.
Dubbed the "Goldilocks Zone", this is the band where temperatures are just right to allow the existence of surface liquid water throughout its orbit. 

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