Artist’s concept illustrates Kepler-22b. Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Kepler suggests even more Earth-size planets

By Jenny Winder
09 January 2013

(Sen) – Analysis of the first three years of data from NASA’s Kepler mission shows that 17 percent of all Sun-like stars have planets one to two times the diameter of Earth orbiting close to their host stars.

The estimate includes only planets in the current limit of Kepler’s detection capability, that orbit stars within a distance of about one-quarter of Earth’s orbital radius, well within the orbit of Mercury. Further evidence suggests that perhaps 50 percent of stars have planets the size of Earth or slightly bigger orbiting within Earth-like orbits. The estimates are based on a better understanding of the percentage of big Earth-size planets that Kepler misses because of uncertainties in detection, which the team estimates to be about 25 percent.

Read more: Kepler suggests even more Earth-size planets — Sen.

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