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Kepler-1649c: Earth-Size, Habitable Zone Planet Hides in Plain Sight

A team of transatlantic scientists, using reanalyzed data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, has discovered an Earth-size exoplanet orbiting in its star’s habitable zone, the area around a star where a rocky planet could support liquid water.

Scientists discovered this planet, called Kepler-1649c, when looking through old observations from Kepler, which the agency retired in 2018. While previous searches with a computer algorithm misidentified it, researchers reviewing Kepler data took a second look at the signature and recognized it as a planet. Out of all the exoplanets found by Kepler, this distant world – located 300 light-years from Earth – is most similar to Earth in size and estimated temperature.

This artist’s illustration shows what Kepler-1649c could look like from its surface.

Learn more at NASA’s Reddit Ask Me Anything on Friday, April 17, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT. To participate, go to:

Image Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

Last Updated: April 16, 2020
Editor: Yvette Smith
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