PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The discovery of new planets continues as the Kepler Mission reports back from space.
The mission began more than two years ago, but we are just getting the information now on the potential for other life-sustaining worlds.
The discovery this month of three potential Earth-like planets from the Kepler mission was exciting news in the science world. Andrej Prsa, research assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Villanova, says that is just the beginning.
“Some of the amazing discoveries have been we’ve found 2,500 planet candidates. We’ve confirmed, undeniably, 33 of them right now and all of this is an enormous step for stellar astrophysics.”
The three planets found in December, however, failed to live up to Earth’s conditions. Prsa says one was too large and most likely had a gaseous surface.
The other two were closer to their host star than Mercury is to the Sun, and therefore they would be too hot to sustain life. But that leaves 2,497 potential candidates to explore.