Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scientists find distant planets well suited for life

Scientists using NASA's Kepler space telescope have found the best candidates yet for habitable worlds beyond the solar system, including a pair of potentially life-friendly planets orbiting the same star, officials said on Thursday.

The planets join a list of about 700 confirmed extra-solar planets discovered since 1995.

The new additions include a pair of planets orbiting a star called Kepler-62, located about 1,200 light years away in the constellation Lyra.

Kepler-62's two outermost planets, both about 1.5 times the size of Earth, are located the right distance from their parent star for water - if any exists - to be liquid on the surface. Water is believed to be necessary for life.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/18/us-space-planets-idUSBRE93H18F20130418