Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/7/2011 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Planet likely to have liquid water and an average temperature of 72 degrees F.

Scientists claim to have discovered another earth outside of our solar system and  it may be habitable. The discovery is the product of the Kepler Space Telescope's search for planets outside of our solar system.

Sunrise on Kepler 22b? We can only wonder--for now.

Sunrise on Kepler 22b? We can only wonder--for now.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/7/2011 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Kepler 22b, planet, Earth, solar system, NASA


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The planet in question is known as Kepler-22b. It's not a particularly exciting name, but employs a naming system that is practical for a scientific project that has already found 2,326 potential planets after just 16 months of exploration. While these discoveries will still need to be confirmed, they easily quadruple the number of planets now known to exist outside of our solar system.

Until recently, astronomers could only speculate whether or not planets orbited other stars. The answer was universally thought to be yes, but it was not known if every star would have planets, nor was it well known if any of those planets would be like Earth.

Recent discoveries now suggest that our solar system is rather ordinary; that other stars seem to have planets as a matter of course, and that around at least some of those stars, the planets may be habitable, meaning their environments could be much like Earth's.

No telescope can yet see the majority of these planets directly. Instead, planets are detected almost automatically, with the Kepler telescope monitoring the light from individual stars. As planets pass between the telescope and their parent star, they subtly dim the starlight that reaches the telescope. This dimming can be detected by the ultra-sensitive equipment on board the Kepler telescope. Scientists then pour over the data for each star, searching for patterns that are the telltale signature of planets passing in front of stars.

Based on the pattern of dimming, and just how much the star dims, as well as examining wobbles in the star -- produced by the influence of large planets, they can calculate the mass of these extrasolar planets as well as their relative position in orbit around their parent stars.

What they have found to date is exciting.

Kepler-22b orbits its parent star in a region which scientists refer to as the "Goldilocks zone." The Goldilocks zone is that space around a star where liquid water can exist. A planet which orbits too close to its star will be too hot for liquid water to exist. Conversely, a planet orbiting too far from the star will have all of its water frozen. Since liquid water is thought to be a prerequisite for life, scientists are keenly interested to find planets in the Goldilocks zone.

Kepler 22b appears to be in that zone. The planet is approximately 4 times the size of Earth, which means that while it probably has liquid water, and its average temperature is around 72įF, its gravity will be much greater than Earth's. That means you'd weigh a lot more on Kepler 22b, than on Earth. Still, extreme gravity will not necessarily preclude the presence of life on such a planet.

It is a question which astronomers have asked for centuries. Has God created other life in the universe besides ours? With the discovery of Kepler-22b, scientists may be just one tiny step closer to answering that question, although it is unlikely we will know for sure -- at least in our lifetime. 


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... continue reading


Meet the doll that's flipping the world upside down! Watch

Image of Lammily, is a new doll that is proportioned just like the average American 19-year old woman.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A simple art project by a graphic designer has become the most coveted toy for the 2014 Christmas season following its November 19 release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nickolay Lamm made a doll he named Lammily, who is what Barbie would look like if she was ... continue reading


The Bloody Battle of Tarawa in 20 extraordinary photos Watch

Image of U.S. Marines advance while under fire from Japanese defensive positions.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles to the U.S. in WWII in terms of men lost per time spent in combat. During the 76 hour battle from November 20-23, 1943, on that small Pacific Island, about 1,700 U.S. personnel were killed, and ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger to America? It's not nukes and it isn't terrorism Watch

Image of China is well known to have an extensive cyberwarfare program, and often utilizes civilian hackers as well as its own military personnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the National Security Agency revealed to a Congressional panel that China and "probably one or two other" countries have the ability to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures through cyberwarfare. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Massive collection of Catholic artifacts leave Italy for the first time in 700 years: Their destination? The Big Apple! Watch

Image of For the first time in 700 years, artifacts of St. Francis of Assisi will be removed from Italy. They will be put on display in New York during November, December and January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents that have close ties with St. Francis of Assisi will be held at the United Nations in New York from November 17 to the 28. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The exhibition is titled "Friar Francis: Traces, ... continue reading


Obama gives amnesty while bracing for next 'surge' of illegals in 2015 Watch

Image of Children in holding facilities during 2014, a year where the surge of illegal children occurred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama has revealed his plans to shield about five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has federal agencies getting ready for another mass surge of illegal immigrants during the spring of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter