Kepler-21b; A newly discovered planet

Kepler field of view with circle showing approximate position of HD-179070
Kepler field of view with circle showing approximate position of HD-179070

Astronomers have found a new planet that is about 1.6 times bigger than our Earth but is very much hotter i.e. about 2,960 degrees Fahrenheit (1,627 degrees Celsius) because it revolves very close to its parent star i.e. HD 179070. This star is not visible to naked eye but to see it with telescope is much easy.

This planet is referred to as Kepler-21b and is found by using planet-hunting Kepler space telescope by NASA. Kepler finds alien worlds through “transit method”, in which a planet is spotted by the blockage of light of the star, when the planet comes in front of it. Kepler has recognized 1235 alien planets since its launch in March 2009.

Kepler-21b is located about 352 light years away from Earth. It is about 10 times heavier than Earth. It is about 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) away from its parent star while Earth is located about 93 million miles (150 million km) from Sun. It completes one orbit in 2.8 days. HD 179070 is about 1.3 times massive than Sun. It is 2.84 billion years old while Sun is 4.6 billion years old.

This research is going to be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Further Reading:

National Optical Astronomical Observatory

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