Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NASA discovers a new Solar System

Imagine if you will  a brand new solar system, but this one is minuscule by our standards.

This new solar system is made up of three planets in total and can be found about 210 light years away from Earth. It is in the constellation known as Lyra. The new system is known as Kepler-37. The three planets in it go by the names of Kepler-37b, Kepler-37c, and Kepler-37d. (How original!)

First Planet:
The smallest planet in this system, is Kepler-37b. It is slightly larger than our moon, smaller than Mercury, and about one-third the size of our Earth.

The planets orbit a sun in the same class as ours... but that's where the similarities end.

For example, experts at NASA say the Kepler-37b has a rocky make-up, but does not have an atmosphere and probably does not harbor life like we know it. It orbits its sun once every 13 days.

NASA says, the estimated surface temperature of this smoldering planet, is more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit (700 degrees Kelvin), and it would be hot enough to melt the zinc in a penny.

The other two:
Kepler-37c is the next planet about the size of Venus, while Kepler-37d is farthest away from its sun and about twice the size of the earth. They both orbit every 21 days and 40 days, respectively.

This line up compares an artist's concept of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the Moon and planets in our own solar system.

This brand new system was discovered by scientists utilizing  NASA's Kepler Space telescope. It is tasked with finding planets like ours. Planets found in or near the "habitable zone,". This is an area in a planetary system where water could be found.

The Kepler space telescope, simultaneously and continuously measures the brightness of more than 150,000 stars every 30 minutes. 

The search is on-going.


  1. How much money is being spent on this type of research?
    Will this research help us here on Earth? Will it solve world hunger? Will it bring peace to the world?
    I think we should be focusing on things happening here on Earth not 215 light years away.

    1. What a closed minded individual. Sad really to live like that. Are you doing anything to solve any of those problems?

  2. ^ ugh. So much for world peace...
    I think it's amazing!! I believe there is much more to be discovered. Congrats NASA!

  3. The space program has always brought benefits to mankind. From advanced medical research to appliances like the microwave oven. Our potential as humans grow with every new bit of wisdom acquired. World hunger and the host of other problems can be solved if we as humans put our brains and desire to work.

  4. I think its important to research our options, we as a human race may have to resort to life outside of earth in the future. It will be that much sweeter to know where we are headed.... Go NASA!