first_imgStay on target Tune In As Brad Pitt Speaks With NASA Astronaut on ISSNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend Research teams at NASA working with Kepler Space Telescope yesterday announced that they’ve identified 219 possible new planets. Ten, they suspect, are pretty Earth-y.For those not in the know, Kepler is one of the most advanced operational telescopes. It floats above us taking highly detailed images of the sky, which it then beams down to us for us to sift through. Specifically, it watches stars very closely to see if anything causes their light to dim periodically. If so, scientists on the ground can track the object and do some math to see if it’s probably a planet. Once we suspect an object may be a new exoplanet, we study it more to confirm.via NASAFor those who are in the know, however, this might seem routine at this point. After all, Kepler’s identified dozens of Earth-like worlds and a whopping 4,034 nearby planets total. The majority of these planet-potentials have been verified — to the best of our ability, anyway. That doesn’t mean we know what they look like exactly, but it does mean we know that they’re there, we know their rough mass, and we know how close they are to their parent star. Anything else? Well, we’ll have to wait for James Webb — which can use diffraction patterns in light passing through the atmospheres of target planets to determine their atmospheric composition.And let’s be honest, we’re going to need all the help we can get. We’ve royally fucked Earth, and with our species teetering on the brink of runaway climate change, we’ve kind just shat this planet. So, it’s good to know that we’ll have plenty of new homes to pick from when we finally abandon this shitty rock.via NASAOr, to be way less metal about it:“The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs – planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth,” said Mario Perez, Kepler program scientist in NASA’s astrophysics division. “Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”Let us know how we’re doinglast_img

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