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December 26, 2016 - Another Earth?

Another Earth?  Only about one and a half times larger than Earth, Kepler-62f  is one of the smallest confirmed exoplanets to be discovered within its host star’s “Goldilocks” zone—the region where conditions are potentially “just right” for the planet to be habitable. Like Earth, Kepler-62f is composed of silicate rock and iron. It orbits its orange type K star at a distance where liquid water could exist on its surface (or perhaps under a thin layer of ice), possibly in the form of oceans or even a planet-wide sea. Kepler-62f may even have a moon or two. If conditions are right and have been so for a reasonable time, this exoplanet may possibly harbor some form of life—another Earth, 1,200 light-years away. As our abilities to observe and ultimately travel the Universe progress, we may one day know for sure.

Image credit: Illustration: NASA Ames / JPL-Caltech / Tim Pyle

Weekly Calendar

December 26, 2016 - January 1, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 26

Boxing Day (Canada, U.K., Australia)
First Day of Kwanzaa

1780: Mary Somerville born

Moon phase Tuesday 27

Saturn 4° south of Moon

1571: Johannes Kepler born
1984: Meteorite ALH 84001 discovered

Moon phase Wednesday 28

Mercury in inferior conjunction

1882: Arthur Eddington born

Moon phase Thursday 29

New Moon 1:53 AM ET
Uranus appears stationary

1980: STS-1 leaves Vehicle Assembly Building and rolls out to launch pad

Moon phase Friday 30

1957: Wernher von Braun proposes the Saturn-class launch vehicle

Moon phase Saturday 31

New Year's Eve

1864: Robert Aitken born
2004: Cassini makes first flyby of Iapetus

Moon phase Sunday 1

New Year's Day

1801: Giuseppe Piazzi discovers asteroid Ceres

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.