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Astronomers spot distant planet in "habitable zone"

Washington, Apr 18 (EFE).- NASA said that astronomers working with the Kepler Space Telescope have located the first Earth-sized planet within what is called the habitable zone: the right distance from a star to allow liquid water to pool on its surface. Dubbed Kepler-186f, the planet is some 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The exoplanet was first spotted with the Kepler Space Telescope and the find was confirmed by observations from the W.M. Keck and Gemini Observatories in Hawaii.

Quest for extraterrestrial life not over

The discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the "habitable" zone of a distant star, though exciting, is still a long way from pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial life, experts said Friday. The planet, dubbed Kepler-186f, is the first of this size found orbiting its star at a distance that would allow it to have liquid water -- a prerequisite for the development of life, whether primitive or complex. But whether it has any, we may never know.

First Earth-sized planet found in 'habitable zone'

The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward -- an international team of researchers has discovered the first Earth-sized planet within the "habitable zone" of another star. The exoplanet dubbed Kepler-186f was first spotted by scientists using NASA's Kepler telescope, according to research published Thursday in the US journal Science.

First Earth-sized planet found in 'habitable zone'

The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward -- an international team of researchers has discovered the first Earth-sized planet within the "habitable zone" of another star. The exoplanet dubbed Kepler-186f was first spotted by scientists using NASA's Kepler telescope, according to research published Thursday in the US journal Science.

Atlas rocket blasts off with secret U.S. military satellite

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday to put a classified satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The 20-story tall rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, blasted off its seaside launch pad at 1:45 p.m. ET (1745 GMT). United Launch Alliance is a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

MIT's Sara Seager aims to find extraterrestrials

Washington, Mar 31 (EFE).- Sara Seager, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant recipient, is convinced there is life on other planets and has decided to find it. "I've decided to dedicate my life to finding life on another planet, to find planets like Earth and planets with life on them," the 42-year-old scientist, considered on of the most influential astrophysicists in the world by Time magazine, told Efe.

Scientists say destructive solar blasts narrowly missed Earth in 2012

By Laila Kearney (Reuters) - Fierce solar blasts that could have badly damaged electrical grids and disabled satellites in space narrowly missed Earth in 2012, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. The bursts would have wreaked havoc on the Earth's magnetic field, matching the severity of the 1859 Carrington event, the largest solar magnetic storm ever reported on the planet. That blast knocked out the telegraph system across the United States, according to University of California, Berkeley research physicist Janet Luhmann.

Planet X myth debunked

It was an elusive planet that for 200 years appeared to explain Uranus's wobbly orbit. And there was the sister sun theorized to be near our solar system that caused asteroids to swerve toward Earth. There is just one problem: neither "Planet X" nor "Nemesis" ever existed, researchers now say. Or probably not.

Zap! Australian scientists look at lasers to cull space junk

By Pauline Askin SYDNEY (Reuters) - It may sound like science fiction but an Australian team is working on a project to zap orbital debris with lasers from Earth to reduce the growing amount of space junk that threatens to knock out satellites with a "cascade of collisions". The project is very realistic and likely to be working in the next 10 years, Matthew Colless, director of Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, told Reuters.

Australia to prevent 'Gravity' space crash with lasers

Australian scientists said Friday they aim to prevent a real-life version of the space disaster scenario portrayed in Oscar-winning film "Gravity" by removing extraterrestrial debris with lasers. "We now want to clean up space to avoid the growing risks of collisions and to make sure we don't have the kind of event portrayed in 'Gravity'," said Matthew Colless, head of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University.
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