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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

How Scientists Will Know They've Found Another Earth

• Business Insider
 

While NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, which discovered the newfound Earth-like planet candidate KOI 172.2, is great for finding large numbers of exoplanets, it is not our best bet for characterizing an Earth twin circling a distant star, researchers say.

In order to understand what an "alien Earth" candidate really looks like, it takes a more refined approach than what Kepler can provide at the moment.

"It’s a statistical mission," Kepler deputy science team lead Natalie Batalha said at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Tuesday (Jan. 8).
 
The Kepler mission is designed to find out how many possible exoplanets there could be in any given part of the galaxy.

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