NASA Announces The Discovery Of The Smallest Planet Ever Observed [News]

According to NASA, the Kepler space telescope has discovered the smallest exoplanet ever observed in the constellation Lyra - which lies abo...

According to NASA, the Kepler space telescope has discovered the smallest exoplanet ever observed in the constellation Lyra - which lies about 210 light-years from Earth. Dubbed as Kepler-37b, the little planet is slightly larger than the Moon, and you can check out a comparison of its size relative to other known planets in the illustration below.

NASA Announces The Discovery Of The Smallest Planet Ever Observed [News]

The line up compares artist's concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37c, the second planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. Kepler-37d, the third planet, is twice the size of Earth.

According to the space agency's scientists, the planet is tiny and it’s discovery was a real challenge. It has one-third the size of Earth and is smaller than Mercury, and this is the first time that a planet smaller than those that exist in our solar system is found. In addition, although orbiting around a star resembling the Sun, the researchers believe that it is a planetary system very different from ours.

The researchers believe that Kepler-37b is a rocky planet and probably not habitable. As the little planet orbits very close to its star, it probably has no atmosphere or water, and high temperatures on its surface - estimated at over 400°C making it completely barren.

[Via]

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