Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/7/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

12/7/2011 (3 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 72°F, 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

Irving officials received threatening emails following their treatment of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Watch

Image of Ahmed Mohamed


Following the incident of police handcuffing a 14-year-old teen for bringing a homemade clock project to school, many are still infuriated and have resorted to sending Irving officials threatening messages. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Blaze reported that ... continue reading

Authorities confident El Nino will dump lots of rain in California -- soon Watch

Image of In fact, there is an over 60 percent possibility that Southern California will have a wet winter, and an over 40 percent possibility that San Francisco will have a wet winter.


In the State of California, people look up into cloudless skies and sweat in 90 degrees weather or higher -- in October. Never fear, meteorologists say, this winter's El Nino promises to be a BIG ONE. Bill Patzert, climatologist for NASA's Jet Propulsion ... continue reading

What it was like to fly Pope Francis around America: American Airlines crew speaks out Watch

Image of The Pope blessed the crew, their families, and the plane during his tour.


Pope Francis' American Airlines flight crew has opened up about the spiritual experience, claiming the papal meeting was "like seeing God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pilot George Griffin, his co-pilots and 15 cabin crew members were picked from a pool of ... continue reading

New ISIS video features a 'cub of the caliphate' directly threaten US President Barack Obama Watch

Image of A young ISIS member delivers a threat to US President Barack Obama (YouTube).


A young ISIS jihadi was featured in an ISIS video dressed in army fatigues and holding a rocket launcher as he  delivered a threat to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy who looks to be no more than 10-years-old was recorded ... continue reading

Did Clinton hide the discovery of the Khobar Towers bombers? Watch

Image of Former US President Bill Clinton (Brothersoft)


In order to reestablish diplomatic ties with Tehran, former U.S. President Bill Clinton hid the discovery of Iran's involvement of the Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in 1996. The allegations are not new, but in a recent report, heavy evidence ... continue reading

Terrorists can easily enter the U.S. through Texas/Mexico border Watch

Image of


Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, warned the U.S. was vulnerable in terms of infiltration through the country's southern border. McCraw reported some people coming from countries flagged to have "terrorism presence."  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

STUDY: Arabic, Urdu the fastest growing secondary languages in the United States Watch

Image of The most recent census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.


The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic spoken in the United States. There is also a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a nine percent jump in Persian, the language spoken in ... continue reading

California mother punched in the face by police files lawsuit Watch

Image of The police officer allegedly pulled over Cindy Hahn moments later on an alleged seat belt violation and arrested Hahn as her children watched.


The one sure thing about cell phone technology is that authority figures will not be able to slip easily from the law. A 40-year-old mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California after being physically assaulted by police officers in July of 2013. It was all ... continue reading

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... continue reading

Oregon shooting hero still in recovery: Donations for his medical expenses surpass $700,000 Watch

Image of Chris Mintz.


Chris Mintz left a happy birthday message for his nonverbal autistic son on Thursday before going to his classes at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Later, he reportedly set off fire alarms as a gunman opened fire. Mintz charged the shooter, was ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More