University of British Columbia (UBC) Astronomy Student Michelle Kunimoto has discovered 17 new planets, including a potentially habitable, Earth-sized world, by combing through data gathered by NASA’s Kepler mission. Over its original four-year mission, the Kepler satellite looked for planets, especially those that lie in the “habitable zones” of their stars, where liquid water could exist on a rocky planet’s surface.The new finding, published in The Astronomical Journal, include one such particularly rare planet. Officially named KIC-7340288 b, the planet discovered by Michelle Kunimoto is just one and a half times the size of Earth — small enough to be considered rocky, instead of gaseous like the giant planets of the Solar System — and in the habitable zone of its star.
Kepler was launched in 2009
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