Musings of an autodidact

Kepler: broken but not beaten

Astronomy300Astronomy Magazine: Kepler hauls in 100 new planets in its phoenix-like new mission

Perhaps the most interesting treasures in this trove are four roughly Earth-sized planets located in the same solar system 181 light years from us. Based on the planets’ size, between 20 and 50 percent larger than Earth, they are probably rocky. Two of the planets probably get light radiation levels similar to Earth’s. The solar system’s star, an M dwarf star called K2-72, is dimmer than our Sun and about half its size. The four planets are even closer to their star than Mercury is to ours, so their years are each much shorter than Earth’s, ranging from five-and-a-half days to 24 days long.

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