NASA to announce new planet finds thanks to Kepler mission

NASA to Announce Discovery of New Alien Planets Tuesday

NASA will unveil its latest discoveries in the search for planets beyond our solar system on Tuesday (Dec. 20).

The new alien planet announcement is based on findings made by NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft, an observatory that has been orbiting Earth since its launch in March 2009.

Earlier this month, the Kepler science team announced the discovery of Kepler-22b, the first potentially habitable alien planet.

Between Kepler and the other ground- and space-based planet searches underway, scientists have discovered a total of more than 700 confirmed alien planets. They’re still on the hunt for a truly Earth-like world, though, roughly the right size and temperature to host life.

Credit: Blue_wode via Twitter

NASA will make the official announcement tomorrow, December 20th at 1.00 PM EST and you can listen to it on their News Audio website here.

What’s with the term “alien planet”? Sounds like they are talking about actually aliens which is not the best language to use…can cause some confusion.

But WOW look at all those new planets! That’s a story. Tune in Tuesday for more.

Phil Plait provides an update: Another Kepler milestone: Astronomers find two Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star!

  3 comments for “NASA to announce new planet finds thanks to Kepler mission

  1. Massachusetts
    December 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    If not “alien planet,” or the slightly more poetic but less accurate “alien world,” then what term would be appropriate? All I can think of at the moment are “non terrestrial planet” and “extra terrestrial planet,” and I’m not crazy about those. Otherwise we could use the somewhat long phrase “planets outside our solar system,” I suppose.

  2. JoeBuddha
    December 20, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Why not “Extra-Solar Planets”?

  3. Massachusetts
    December 21, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    I like “Extra-Solar Planets” very much. Good work!

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