NASA’s catalog of potential planets just got 219 new additions, 10 of which are near-Earth size and might be habitable.
The Kepler space telescope team announced the discoveries Monday morning during a NASA press conference, calling this “the most comprehensive and detailed” catalog release of candidate exoplanets. They found they fall into two distinct size groupings and that both results have “significant implications for the search for life.”
“The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs, planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth,” said Mario Perez, Kepler program scientist in the Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”