Scrolling news:

Palestine: Gaza casualty toll on the rise, Israeli strikes continue on day 20

Palestine: Eight Palestinians killed, dozens wounded Sunday

Eid moon sighting possiblities, Muslims in South Africa have declared Eid

Pakistan: More rain with thunder, lightening forecast in next 24 hours in Rawalpindi

Libya: US embassy evacuated after heavy violence

Palestine: List of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces between July 8 to July 27

Palestine: Two Palestinians beaten by Jewish mob in Jerusalem

Palestine: Reports show murder of 3 Israeli teenage settlers was not carried out by Hamas

Palestine: Remains of 85 Palestinians located under rubble of bombarded homes

Palestine: Ten Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestine: At least 15 kidnapped by Israeli forces from West Bank

Palestine: Palestinians pull over 140 bodies from under Gaza rubble, total killed 1000

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

More planets discovered outside solar system

27th Feb 2014


A visualisation of one of the planets found using Kepler


An additional 715 planets outside our solar system have been identified by astronomers using data from the Kepler space telescope. NASA says that boosts the overall tally to nearly 1,700. A few are potentially habitable.

The US space agency NASA announced late Wednesday that scientists using a new verification technique on data from the Kepler telescope had discovered 715 additional planets.

The new finds “almost certainly doubled” the number of planets known to humanity, said NASA planetary scientists during a news conference.

The additions include four exo-planets – those outside our solar system – at the right distance from their parent stars for surface water to stay liquid. The “habitable zone” is neither too hot nor too cold for life, which is dependent on water, to potentially exist.

More data to examine

The telescope, launched in 2009 but  now disabled, spent four productive years staring at 160,000 stars. So far, two years of its data have been analyzed by scientists.

The 715 planets located were orbiting in clusters around stars, much like the Earth and its sister planets which orbit our sun.

‘Small planets, extremely common’

Astronomer Sara Seagar of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was not part of the discovery team, said Kepler’s data also indicated that “small planets are extremely common in our galaxy.

“That’s why we have confidence that there will be planets like Earth in other places,” Seagar said.

Twenty years ago, astronomers had only identified planets revolving around the sun.

ipj/ccp (AP, Reuters)

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