Kelper spots 54 exoplanets in habitable zones

NASA scientists claim that the American space agency’s orbiting telescope, Kepler, has spotted around 1,235 new candidate planets, a few of which could feature inhabitable conditions.

The huge number of new exoplanet (planets outside our solar system) has been discovered by Kelper in just four months of its operation. Out Of the 1,235 new candidate planets, 54 have been orbiting their respective stars in habitable zones (Goldilocks), where the temperature is neither too high nor too low.

Sixty-eight of the new exoplanets are similar to Earth in size, 288 are up to 10 times of the Earth's mass, 165 are similar to Jupiter in size, 19 are double the size of Jupiter and 662 are Neptune-sized.

Speaking on the discovery’s NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, “These discoveries underscore the importance of NASA's science missions, which consistently increase understanding of our place in the cosmos.”

Earlier, around 500 exoplanets were in the knowledge of NASA scientists.

Kepler telescope is orbiting the sun, observing around 155,000 stars. It measures the amount of light stars emit every half an hour and detects a planet orbiting a star each time when a planet passes in front of its star, blocking light temporarily.