A cosmology student from the University of British Columbia has found 17 new exoplanets, including one that is roughly a similar size as Earth.
Michelle Kunimoto, a Ph.D. candidate at the university, found the planets using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, as per a research published in The Astronomical Journal. One planet, KIC-7340288 b, is “small enough to be considered rocky,” at simply 1.5 times the size of Earth, and is in the habitable zone of the star it orbits.
“This planet is about a thousand light-years away, so we’re not getting there anytime soon!” Kunimoto said in a statement. “But this is a really exciting find since there have only been 15 small, confirmed planets in the Habitable Zone found in Kepler data so far.”
A light-year, which estimates distance in space, rises to 6 trillion miles.
One year on KIC-7340288 b is comparable to 142.5 days and orbits its star at 0.444 astronomical units (AU), just somewhat bigger than Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. One AU is roughly 93 million miles.
The staying 16 planets are believed to be involved gas, including the smallest one at any point found by Kepler, at only 66% the size of Earth. The others shift in size, the biggest at eight times the size of Earth.
This isn’t the first time Kunimoto has found planets. During her undergraduate years, she found four different exoplanets; these 17 were revealed utilizing the “transit method,” which takes a gander at the measure of light radiated by a star, she included.
“Every time a planet passes in front of a star, it blocks a portion of that star’s light and causes a temporary decrease in the star’s brightness,” Kunimoto explained. “By finding these dips, known as transits, you can start to piece together information about the planet, such as its size and how long it takes to orbit.”
In January, Fox News announced that a 17-year-old intern at NASA throughout the summer of 2019 was only three days into his internship when he found the exoplanet TOI 1338 b, 1,300 light-years from Earth.
More than 4,000 exoplanets have been found by NASA altogether, around 50 of which were accepted to be conceivably habitable as of September 2018. They have the right size and the right orbit of their star to help surface water and, at least theoretically, to support life.
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