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New Discovery: Another Planet That May Harbor Life

A system of planets has been discovered in the constellation Cygnus orbiting a double star. It was not thought that this was possible, and planetary scientists are saying that it will lead to a complete revision of our understanding of how planets are formed. It means that they may be even more numerous than we thought, making life all but inevitable elsewhere in the universe.

NASA's Kepler Mission has just discovered an entire system of planets orbiting a double star that is 4,900 light-years from Earth. Two stars orbit one another at the center of the system: One is similar to the sun in size, but only 84% as bright. The second star is smaller, only one-third the size of the sun and less than 1% percent as bright. There are two planets orbiting this pair of suns.

Some people think that OUR sun has a twin as well (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).

The Daily Galaxy website quotes NASA's William Borucki as saying, "In our search for habitable worlds, we have just found more opportunities for life to exist. Many stars are part of multiple-star systems where two or more stars orbit one another. The question always has been--do they have planets and planetary systems? This Kepler discovery proves that they do."

They quote astrophysicist Greg Laughlin as saying, "The presence of a full-fledged planetary system orbiting Kepler-47 is an amazing discovery. This is going to change the way we think about the formation of planets." (And about the Visitors, as well?)

  • Image Credit:
  • NASA


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