NASA’s Kepler mission discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a sun-like star outside our solar system. The planets, named Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, are the smallest outside the solar system. However they orbit to close to the star like the Sun to be considered habitable.
Francois Fressin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics pointed out, “This discovery demonstrates for the first time that Earth-size planets exist around stars, and that we are able to detect them.”
It’s believed that the new planets are rocky. Kepler-20e is slightly smaller than Venus while the Kepler-20f is slightly larger than Earth. Both planets are 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.
The planet of Kepler-20e has a temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is similar to an average day on the planet Mercury. Meanwhile the surface temperature of Kepler-20f is more than 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, this would melt glass. The Kepler space telescope detects planets and possible planet candidate by measuring dips in the brightness of more than 150,000 stars and planets cross in front their stars. (AV)