Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Solar System With Tiniest Planets Found

NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Tiny Planet System

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a new planetary system NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star like our sun, approximately 210 light-years away in the constellation Lyra. Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech.  Full image and caption

February 20, 2013

PASADENA, Calif. -- 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, which is designed 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.

More - Link >>> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-066&cid=release_2013-066

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA.

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