CAPE CANAVERAL: Scientists have found a planet way out in the cosmos thats close in size and content to Earth an astronomical first, reports AP.
But hold off on the travel plans. This rocky world is so close to its sun that its at least 2,000 degrees hotter than here, almost certainly too hot for life.
Astrophysicists reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature that the exoplanet Kepler-78b appears to be made of rock and iron just like Earth. They measured the planets mass to determine its density and content. Its actually a little bigger than Earth and nearly double its mass, or weight.
Kepler-78b is located in the Cygnus constellation hundreds of light-years away. Incredibly, it orbits its sun every 8 hours, a mystery to astronomers who doubt it could have formed or moved that close to a star. They agree the planet will be sucked up by the sun in a few billion years, so its time remaining, astronomically speaking, is short.
More than 1,000 exoplanets worlds outside our solar system have been confirmed so far.
NASAs Kepler Space Telescope, used to discover Kepler-78b, has identified 3,500 more potential candidates. The telescope lost its precise pointing ability earlier this year, and NASA has given up trying to fix it.
Scientific teams in the United States and Switzerland used ground observatories to measure Kepler-78b. Agencies
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.