Goldilocks Earth size Exoplanet Found

NASA’s Kepler satellite has found an Earth size planet in its star’s Goldilocks Zone. This is the first habitable zone Earth size planet found so far; all the previous ones were much larger than Earth. Kepler-186f orbits a star about 500 light years away in the constellation Cygnus. The star (Kepler-186) is an M class red dwarf. The planet is on the outside of the habitable zone, so it’s probably fairly cold, but that really depends on the atmosphere. So far all we really know about the planet is that it’s just a little larger than Earth, and is probably rocky (not a gas giant). Due to its orbit close to the star, it probably has a long day, as long as our week or month.

Kepler186f-ComparisonGraphic-20140417_improved

Kepler-186f orbital characteristics

Update 21 April 2014

This link on How close are we to finding extraterrestrial life? has some good notes on the types of planets Kepler has found and how new telescopes will help the search.

It’s about time

We’re finally back to the moon. The Chinese have sent a lander to the moon. Congratulations! I’m glad we’re back; I just wish it hadn’t taken so long.

At 8:11 AM EST, the Chinese moon lander Chang’e 3 and rover soft landed on the moon in the Bay of Rainbows map here. This is the first soft landing in 37 years. Chang’e 3’s solar panels have been deployed, and soon the Yutu rover will roll out.

Also, on this date back in 1972, Gene Cernan left the last footprints on the moon from Apollo 17. And, back in 1546, Tycho Brahe was born.