Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Kepler finds a solar system like ours

Scientists using the Kepler space telescope have found over 1200 likely exoplanets, but the big news concerns a solar system 2,000 miles away: "six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star, known as Kepler-11." Out of the hundreds of exoplanet discoveries made so far, the Kepler-11 find most closely resembles our own solar system: relatively compact, with rocky planets orbiting a small yellow star in a single plane.
Pat Flannery, a contributor to the group, made my favorite remark on this: "Kepler makes it look like a Star Trek universe out there, with planets all over the place."

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