Scientists from around the world are gathered this week at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., for the second Kepler Science Conference, where they will discuss the latest findings resulting from the analysis of Kepler Space Telescope data.
Included in these findings is the discovery of 833 new candidate planets, which will be announced today by the Kepler team. Ten of these candidates are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun's habitable zone, which is defined as the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet may be suitable for liquid water.
The Kepler Team announced last week that they have found 503 new planet candidates to add to the growing list of alien planets found. This now means there are potentially 3,216 planets outside our solar system that we know about. Some of the candidates are small and in the habitable zone of their star. Although the Kepler spacecraft remains in its Point Rest State, scientist and citizens still have years of data to sift through. Before the launch of Kepler on March 7, 2009, only a few handfulls of planet candidates had been detected. Now the number has exploded into thousands of alien worlds. Each one of them keeping us on the front of our seat for what they will find next!