University of British Columbia astronomy student Michelle Kunimoto has discovered 17 new planets, including a potentially habitable, Earth-sized world, by combing through data gathered by NASA’s Kepler mission.

Over its original four-year mission, the Kepler satellite looked for , especially those that lie in the “Habitable Zones” of their , where  could exist on a ‘s surface.

The new findings, published in The Astronomical Journal, include one such particularly rare planet. Officially named KIC-7340288 b, the planet discovered by Kunimoto is just 1 ½ times the size of Earth—small enough to be considered rocky, instead of gaseous like the giant planets of the Solar System—and in the  of its star.



Read more…