Newly Discovered Planets Could Support Life

by

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered three exoplanets that may be capable of supporting life, and one of them is perhaps the most Earth-like alien world spotted to date, scientists announced April 18.

That most intriguing one is called Kepler-62f, a rocky world just 1.4 times bigger than Earth that circles a star smaller and dimmer than the sun. Kepler-62f’s newfound neighbor, Kepler-62e, is just 1.6 times larger than Earth, making the pair among the smallest exoplanets yet found in their star’s habitable zone — the just-right range of distances where liquid water can exist on a world’s surface.

The third potentially habitable planet, called Kepler-69c, is 1.7 times bigger than Earth and orbits a star similar to the sun. It is the smallest world ever found in the habitable zone of a sunlike star, researchers said.