Astronomy students find 17 new planets including Earth sized world, British Columbia astronomy student has discovered 17 new planets, including a potentially habitable world the size of Earth, by combining data collected by NASA’s Kepler mission.

During its first four-year mission, Kepler satellites searched for planets, especially planets in the “habitable zone” of their stars, where liquid water could exist on rocky planets.

The planet is about a thousand light years away, so we won’t be there soon, say researchers.

However, this is a very interesting discovery because Kepler data so far only show 15 small planets confirmed in the habitable zone.

The planet is 142½ days long, orbits its star in 0.444 astronomical units (AU, the distance between the Earth and the Sun) – slightly larger than Mercury’s orbit in our solar system, and receives about a third of the light that the Earth receives from the sun. Astronomy students find 17 new planets including Earth sized world.

Of the 16 newly discovered planets, the smallest is only two-thirds the size of Earth – one of the smallest planets discovered by Kepler so far. The remaining range is up to eight times that of Earth.

The researchers used the so-called “transit method” to search for planets among the approximately 200,000 stars observed by the Kepler mission.

Every time a planet passes in front of a star, it blocks some of the star’s light and causes the star’s brightness to temporarily decrease, researchers say. Astronomy students find 17 new planets including Earth sized world.

When you find a drop called a transit, you can gather information about the planet, such as: B. its size and how long it will take to orbit.

The researchers also worked with UBC graduate Henry Ngo to get sharp images of some of the stars on the planet using the Imager and Near InfraRed Spectrometer (NIRI) on the 8-meter Gemini telescope in Hawaii.

We will calculate how many planets are estimated for stars with different temperatures, the researchers said. A very important result is the recording of the frequency of terrestrial housing zones.