Part 2 of NASA's Year in Review for 2011 was placed on the NASA website yesterday. This entire report is focused on the Kepler Space Telescope, which has been wonderfully successful so far in its mission (1) "to discover rocky planets that lie within the habitable region of their parent stars" and (2) to help "scientists learn more about the stars in our galactic neighborhood."

The Keplar has found 2,326 candidate planets of which 207 are Earth-sized planets, and 680 are super Earth-sized planets. There are 48 habitable zone planet candidates. 'The habitable zone, [is] defined as the region in a planetary system where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface, [and] is of particular interest for the Keplar team in search for habitable planets like Earth.'

Images

Glimmers of Interesting Possibilities in the Milky Way

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