Scientists have announced that Nasa’s new powerful Kepler telescope has discovered 715 new planets beyond our Solar System.
In the last 20 years researchers have found over 1,000 new planets, so to find almost one thousand new planets in one go is an amazing effort.
95% of the planets are smaller than our Neptune, which is four times the radius of the Earth.
Planets have to be the right distance from a star to make them habitable. The earth is the right distance from the sun (a star) to enable us to live on earth.
Only four of the 515 new planets are in the ‘habitable zone’ – a region around a star where water can remain as a liquid, like Earth.
Habitable means people could potentially live on them.
The main problem however is that the planets are so far away the scientists are unable to do a detailed investigation.
Kepler Space Telescope
The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009. The mission cost about $750million NZD and its aim was to find if planets in our Milky Way could support life.
Article written by Editor