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Monday, January 05, 2015

SCIENTIFIC METHOD / SCIENCE & EXPLORATIONEarth-sized planets discovered by Kepler may really be Earth-likeHigh accuracy measurements reveal the ingredients for making a compact planet.

by Nicole Gugliucci Jan 5 2015, 7:00pm EST

With the right starting ingredients, you can mix up an Earth-like planet.
David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Ever since exoplanets were first discovered in the 1990s, astronomers have dreamed of finding an Earth-like planet amongst the stars. Better detection techniques have allowed us to find smaller and smaller exoplanets. But when we spot a planet beyond our Solar System, does “Earth-sized” really mean “Earth-like?” A new study presented at this week’s American Astronomical Society meeting shows that the smallest exoplanets are much more likely to be similar to Earth than we thought.

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