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NASA's Kepler spacecraft discovers 'super-Earth' planet

Dec 19, 2014    

Washington: NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft which is carrying out a new mission has made its first exoplanet discovery - a 'super-Earth' located 180 light-years from Earth.Lead researcher Andrew Vanderburg, a graduate student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studied publicly available data collected by the spacecraft during a test of the new K2 mission in February 2014.This led to the discovery of a planet, HIP 116454b, which is 2.5 times the diameter of Earth and follows a close, nine-day orbit around a star that is smaller and cooler tha...

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