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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Moon-Sized Planet Orbits Sunlike Star
20 February 2013 1:45 pm
NASA's Kepler spacecraft has detected the tiniest world ever found around another star that's about as warm and luminous as the sun. The wimpy world (main image, artist's conception) is one of three planets (inset) orbiting Kepler 37, a star 220 light-years from Earth. As astronomers report online today in Nature, the diminutive world is only 3900 kilometers across—smaller than Mercury, only 10% larger than the moon, and 60% larger than Pluto. The puny planet is about as little as one found in 1993 circling a pulsar that also has three planets. In both solar systems, the smallest of the three worlds is the one nearest the star, just as Mercury is smaller and closer-in than Venus and Earth. Because we live on a rather small planet ourselves, the ability to discern such little worlds means astronomers may be approaching the day when they glimpse another life-bearing planet like our own.
See more ScienceShots.