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Scientists published habitable exoplanets catalog to list all the known planets in the galaxy that could potentially be habitable to life. The count is at seven so far, with many more to come, researchers said. When it was first released last year, it had two potential habitable planets. According to lead researcher Abel Mendez director of the University of Puerto Rico the team expected to add maybe one or two more in the catalog’s first year. The addition of five suspected new planets was wholly beyond anyone’s expectations. Mendez also said scientists are getting smarter about finding exoplanets, and the pace of discovery is increasing. The team expects to add new models in the coming year, which will affect the measurements on objects already in the catalog.
Kepler 22b is bigger than Earth, it circles a star that is quite close in size and temperature to Earth’s sun. Kepler-22b is 2.4 times Earth’s size and, assuming its greenhouse effect is similar to Earth’s, has an estimated surface temperature of 22 degrees Celsius. Its star system is about 600 light-years away from Earth’s sun, in the constellation Cygnus.
HD 40307g lies about 42 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Pictor. It is so close by that future telescopes may be able to peer at its surface. It orbits its parent star about 90 million kilometers away, which is just over half of the Earth-sun distance of 150 million kilometers.
HD 85512b was discovered in 2011 as part of a treasure trove of 50 planets discovered by the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher instrument HARPS. It is about 3.6 times more massive than Earth. It lives about 35 light-years away from Earth’s sun, in the constellation Vela (the Sail). Researchers are hoping to one day figure out if there is water on its surface. The planet is seven times the mass of Earth, which could make it a very large rocky planet or a dwarf gas giant.
Gliese 581d is about seven times more massive than Earth, orbits a red dwarf star, and is a sister planet to the also-potentially-habitable Gliese 581g. At just 20 light-years away from the sun, Gliese 581d is essentially in Earth’s backyard.
source:http://phl.upr.edu, space.com, nasa.gov
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