A rarity? Or one of many?
And here's the Kepler-62 system alongside a part of our solar system. At a glance it looks pretty similar, doesn't it? (Of course, there are differences. For one thing, the Kepler-62 system's "sun" is two-thirds the size of our sun and only one-fifth as bright.)
Clearly, Kepler has yet to find a dead ringer for Earth. Still, as John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, was quoted as saying, in the space agency's announcement about the Kepler 62 system:
"The discovery of these rocky planets in the habitable zone brings us a bit closer to finding a place like home. It is only a matter of time before we know if the galaxy is home to a multitude of planets like Earth, or if we are a rarity."
Unfortunately, unless NASA's technicians can get Kepler's troubled reaction wheel spinning again, time may have run out for Kepler itself. But check out the last two slides...
May 19, 2013 12:01 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech
| Caption by: Edward Moyer
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