The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA) confirmed that found the planet on which water can be, and even life. Potential twin of the Earth outside the solar system and is considered exoplanet.
Open a celestial body called Kepler-22b. The planet is 600 light years from Earth, and its radius is 2.4 Earth. The star around which Kepler-22b is slightly smaller and cooler than our sun a little. Complete revolution around its star exoplanet carries for 290 days.
The orbit of Kepler-22b, as well as the orbit of our planet goes around the middle of the habitable zone around the star. Consequently, the surface temperature of the planet should not be very high and not too low. The scientists also suggest that the planet should be water - a necessary condition for the emergence of life.
Opening voiced at a scientific conference NASA Research Center in California. The conference presented the results of observations of the Spitzer Space Telescope and Kepler, as well as ground-based telescopes. All observations were conducted in the period from May 2009 to September 2010.
Watching the stars, the Kepler space telescope recorded the even small changes in their brightness. The slightest, but a periodic variation of brightness, can say that the light moves around the planet, periodically obscuring it from the telescope. To confirm the discovery of a planet, the telescope must record three cases of so-called "shadow" of the star.
Employee Research Center NASA says William Boruca also about luck in fixing the required three changes brightness of the star. The first shading telescope fixed almost immediately, or rather, three days after the official introduction of the telescope in operation. The last change in the brightness of space luminaries have recorded almost on the eve of the conference - in the holiday season of 2010.
Scientists have not determined yet exactly gaseous, solid or liquid structure of a new planet Kepler-22b. What is known is that this is still the smallest of the known exoplanet that orbits a star similar to the Sun, and the orbit is halfway habitable zone.
At the conference, the scientists also announced that in the course of research telescopes was discovered about 1,094 objects that could potentially be present in the planets with their lives. Thus, the number of candidates competing for the title of planets where life could exist, increased by 89% and amounted to a total of 2,326 celestial objects, 207 of which are about equal in size to the Earth. 680 of planets discovered is referred to the class of super-Earth. The mass of these giants is from 2 to 10 Earth masses. 1181 candidate is similar in size to the planet Neptune in our solar system, 203 are similar to the size of Jupiter and 55, even more than this record holder, rotating around the sun.
Article prepared by Oksana Skripko