Kepler-22b: “This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin”

By the time its last catalogue of exoplanet candidates was released in February,  Nasa’s Kepler space observatory, launched in March 2009, first light in April 2009, had identified 1,235 planetary candidates – and 54 candidates within the habitable zone. The Kepler team have now identified 2,326 planet candidates – of those, 207 are approximately Earth-size, 680 are super Earth-size, 1,181 are Neptune-size, 203 are Jupiter-size and 55 are larger than Jupiter.  And there are now 48 planet candidates in their star’s habitable zone There …

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Dr Neil Tyson’s “disturbing” thought for the day

The Guardian’s tame particle physicist, Jon Butterworth, is “playing truant” from the LHC at Cern to attend the Boost 2011 meeting at Princeton.  But he’s left a link-tastic post on the results so far.  Meanwhile, the Big G’s GrrlScientist points to director of the Hayden Planetarium, New York, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, explaining one of his “disturbing thoughts”. As an aside, the paper, “The Origin of Chemical Elements”, was published in the 1 April 1948 issue of the Physical Review. The …

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