Monday, January 10, 2011

Kepler discovers rocky planet orbiting another star

Kepler, the planet-hunting telescope launched from Cape Canaveral nearly two years ago, has identified a rocky planet that is the smallest discovered outside our solar system, NASA reports.

Named Kepler-10b, the planet is about 1.4 times the size of Earth but is not habitable.

The scorched planet orbits 20 times closer to its star than Mercury to our sun, outside a habitable zone that could support liquid water and life.

Kepler-10b's star is one of about 150,000 stars between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra being monitored by Kepler. It is about 560 light years from our solar system.

Click here for the full NASA press release.

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