Another 219 candidate exoplanets, ten of which are similar in size to Earth and are at a distance from their star, which could have life-friendly conditions (liquid water and appropriate temperature), revealed the space telescope Kepler, as announced by NASA.
The new exoplanets were identified in the constellation of the Swan, and the announcement was made at an interview at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. It was the eighth list of possible exoplanets that emerged from a thorough analysis of Kepler’s observations in previous years of operation.
After the new data, Kepler – which began in 2009 and continues its observations – has identified to date a total of 4,034 candidate exoplanets, of which 2.335 confirmed by other telescopes. Of the approximately 50 “Earth” exoplanets of Kepler, more than 30 have been confirmed.
Astronomers have reported that, on the basis of the data so far, it appears that nature often creates rocky exoplanets up to 75% larger than the Earth (the exoplanet is then called the super-Earth), and more gaseous planets with a size of two to 3.5 Times larger than our own planet (the exoplanet is called mini-Neptune). Almost every star in our galaxy has an exoplanet that is larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune.
The first exoplanet around a star other than our Sun was discovered in the mid-1990s. Since then, several telescopes have confirmed nearly 3,500 exoplanets. Two of the key questions astronomers are trying to answer are how many ultimately “twins” of the Earth exist and whether humanity has an intelligent “companion” out there.