Possible Planet Discovered Within a Habitable Zone

3,000 light years from our solar system a potential planet in the hospitable zone of star Kepler-160 has been detected. To say that is “earth-like” is assuming too much since its atmosphere and structure are unknown, but this gets more attention and might irritate some religious folk, so the media is hyping it.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute, the Sonneberg Observatory, the University of Göttingen, the University of California in Santa Cruz, and NASA used new instruments and algorithms to find the new planet called KOI-456.04. Read more at Phys.org.

“It cannot currently be ruled out completely that KOI-456.04 is, in fact, a statistical fluke or a systematic measurement error instead of a genuine planet.”

Max Planck Institute

Kepler-160’s planets

PREVIOUSLY NOTICED PLANETS

  • Kepler-160b
  • Kepler-160c (variations in orbit gave clue to 3rd planet)

NEW ALLEGED DISCOVERIES

  • KOI-456.04 (in habitable zone—the distance range around a star admitting liquid surface water)
  • Kepler-160d (confirmed indirectly)

The full report

Well done graphic from The Sun, despite the headline.

SpaceX First Manned Mission Set to Launch

Elon Musk’s SpaceX was set to launch its first manned mission today, but weather postponed the launch for Saturday at 3:22 p.m. ET. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be aboard the capsule heading to the International Space Station. Read more at Space.com

UPDATE: A prototype of SpaceX’s reuseable “Starship” rocket blew up on the launch pad during a stress test on Friday. It appeared that a gas leak during the test led to an explosion during the live stream. SpaceX says it is unrelated to Saturday’s launch. See more at Gizmodo.com