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Nasa's mission discovers 10 Earth-size planets potential of holding life

The 10 new Earth-size planets bring the total to 50 that exist in habitable zones around the galaxy

AFP | PTI  |  Washington 

Space Center in Florida  Ingus Kruklitis /
Space Center in Florida Ingus Kruklitis /

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revealed on Tuesday that around 10 new rocky, Earth-sized that could potentially have water and support life, have been discovered.

The Kepler mission team released a survey of 219 potential exoplanets - outside of our solar system -- that had been detected by the space observatory launched in 2009 to scan the Milky Way galaxy.

Ten of the new discoveries were orbiting their suns at a distance similar to Earth's orbit around the sun, the so- called habitable zone that could potentially have water and sustain

Kepler has already discovered 4,034 potential exoplanets, 2,335 of which have been confirmed by other telescopes as actual

The 10 new Earth-size bring the total to 50 that exist in habitable zones around the galaxy.

"This carefully-measured catalog is the foundation for directly answering one of astronomy's most compelling questions- how many like our are in the galaxy? asked Susan Thompson, a Kepler research scientist and lead author of the latest study.

The latest findings were released at the Fourth Kepler and K2 science conference being held this week at NASA's Ames research center in California.

The Kepler telescope detects the presence of by registering minuscule drops in a star's brightness that occurs when a planet crosses in front of it, a movement known as a transit.

said the latest catalog is the most complete and detailed survey of potential exoplanets yet compiled. The telescope has studied some 150,000 stars in the Cygnus constellation, a survey which said is now complete.

The mission ran into technical problems in 2013 when mechanisms used to turn the spacecraft failed but the telescope has continued searching for potentially habitable as part of its K2 project.

First Published: Tue, June 20 2017. 09:27 IST