Emerging Tech

NASA Announces the Discovery of the Most Interesting Planetary System Outside Our Own

The artist's concept depicts NASA's Kepler misssion's smallest habitable zone planet.

The artist's concept depicts NASA's Kepler misssion's smallest habitable zone planet. // NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech

The Kepler Space Telescope has been in orbit looking for planets around other stars since 2009, and it's started to find some startlingly interesting solar systems out there. 

Today, the Kepler team announced the discovery of star system Kepler 62, a group of five planets circling a red star, two of which may be capable of supporting life. That doubles the number of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone that Kepler has confirmed in the cosmos. And they're the smallest, and therefore closest to Earth size, that astronomers have detected. The system is 1,200 light years away.

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