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The Kepler science team today revealed an additional 461 candidate exoplanets, with four being less than twice Earth’s size and in the habitable zone.

Worlds without end: The Kepler science team today revealed an additional 461 candidate exoplanets, with four being less than twice Earth’s size and in the habitable zone.

Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively. The new data increases the number of stars discovered to have more than one planet candidate from 365 to 467. Today, 43 percent of Kepler’s planet candidates are observed to have neighbor planets.

Of these candidates, 105 have so far been confirmed to be exoplanets by other methods.

Note that these Kepler planets are in addition to the fifteen new exoplanets noted in my previous post.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Wow – amazing news. I especially like this comment (which echoes my own thoughts):

    “It is no longer a question of will we find a true Earth analogue, but a question of when.”

    …and I have a feeling the “when” is rapidly approaching – possibly imminent…

  • Perry Phillips

    So where is ETI? When planets were thought to be few, one could make good arguments why we have not seen ETI; but now that planets in the galaxy are as ubiquitous as cockroaches, doesn’t this put a huge constraint on whether ETI exists?

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