Two of the newly discovered planets orbit a star smaller and cooler than the sun, Kepler 62 and Kepler 69. The thing is that there are 3 super-Earth-sized planets in these systems that are in the habitable region of their star.
The Kepler-62 system has five planets; 62b, 62c, 62d, 62e and 62f. The Kepler-69 system has two planets; 69b and 69c. Kepler-62e, 62f and 69c are the super-Earth-sized planets.
Kepler-62f is only 40 percent larger than Earth, making it the exoplanet closest to the size of our planet known in the habitable zone of another star. Kepler-62f is likely to have a rocky composition. Kepler-62e, orbits on the inner edge of the habitable zone and is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth.
The third planet, Kepler-69c, is 70 percent larger than the size of Earth, and orbits in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. Astronomers are uncertain about the composition of Kepler-69c, but its orbit of 242 days around a sun-like star resembles that of our neighboring planet Venus.
It is not certain as to whether these planets have liquid water, but there is certainly a nice chance that there is.
"Most of these planets have a good chance of being rocky, like Earth," says lead author Guillermo Torres of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
|This diagram compares the planets of the inner solar system to Kepler-62, a newfound five-planet system with two potentially habitable worlds. Kepler-62 lies about 1,200 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Lyra.|
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