Scientists Reveal Earth-Sized Exoplanet

on January 15, 2011

ScienceNOW: “First Earth-Sized Exoplanet DiscoveredScientists presenting at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society have revealed the smallest exoplanet discovered so far: a rocky planet almost the same size as earth.

The planet, in the direction of the constellation Cygnus, orbits a star known as Kepler-10. Scientists used the Kepler telescope to identify a 0.015 percent decrease in the brightness of Kepler-10 every 0.84 earth days, indicating the orbit of a planet.

But with an orbit of once every 0.84 days, the planet—known as Kepler-10b—must lie extremely close to its sun. Astronomers estimate the distance to be only a twentieth as far from its star as Mercury is from our sun, implying a hot, inhospitable place. Scientists used more telescopic data to estimate the planet’s size as 1.42 times earth’s and a density nearly nine times earth’s.

An intense stellar wind dooms any lingering evolutionist hopes for life on the planet.

The team estimates that the sunny side of Kepler-10b—the side that always faces its star—rages at 1833 K (2840˚F). On top of that, an intense stellar wind dooms any lingering evolutionist hopes for life on the planet.

The march of earth “twins” thus continues, with each newly announced twin slightly more similar to earth than the last. Nonetheless, all exoplanets discovered so far are woefully unlike earth, preventing meaningful discussions about alien life—although evolutionist hopes remain high. Even if we do discover a true twin of earth, creationists can be thankful for how earth is “just right” on every dimension.

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