This artist's image shows a newly formed planet swimming through the gas and dust surrounding the star. Such a planet might scoop up gas and dust to build an atmosphere, which it could lose as it moves closer to its sun. Thus it could shift from a gas planet to a terrestrial planet. Astronomers have found 18 new alien planets, all of them Jupiter-size gas giants that circle stars bigger than our sun, a new study reports.
Kepler-22b is bigger than Earth, but its temperature could be a comfy 70 degrees. It's the first exoplanet confirmed to be orbiting in the middle of the habitable zone of a sun-like star.
Information about the object, its discovery, its place in the solar system and ongoing research, by its discoverer, Michael Brown.
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