Home > Astronomy, Exoplanets, General Astronomy > NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers Tiny Planet System

NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers Tiny Planet System


NASA’s Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our sun.

The planets are located in a system called Kepler-37, about 210 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. It is smaller than Mercury, which made its detection a challenge.

The moon-size planet and its two companion planets were found by scientists with NASA’s Kepler mission to find Earth-sized planets in or near the “habitable zone,” the region in a planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. However, while the star in Kepler-37 may be similar to our sun, the system appears quite unlike the solar system in which we live.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-37b.html
Also: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2013/02/20/kepler37b

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