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Vatican astronomer discusses earth-like planet

Catholic World News - December 07, 2011

Kepler 22-b, the planet whose discovery was announced on December 5, “has conditions … to make life possible,” according to an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory.

“We’ve got a star that’s like the sun, with a planet that is like earth’s size, in an orbit that is like earth’s orbit,” says Brother Guy Consolmagno. “All of this is telling us that it could be a planet that has conditions, just the right amount of heat, just the right amount of sunlight to make life possible, and it’s the first one that we have really got that matches all the details we are looking for.”

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  • Posted by: JJF - Dec. 12, 2011 12:15 PM ET USA

    There are more conditions required than a habitability zone with respect to the sun. In our case, Jupiter sweeps up a lot of projectiles that might hit Earth. Our large moon also stabilizes Earth. I would not be surprised if there were other Earth-like planets out there, nor would I be surprised if there were none.

  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Dec. 08, 2011 7:32 AM ET USA

    After finally stopping my laughter, I can only say ditto to Dr. Jazz's comment; I couldn't agree more!

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Dec. 07, 2011 8:09 AM ET USA

    Don't get too excited, Brother Consolmagno. If Kepler 22-b has just the right amount of heat and sunlight to make life possible, then it also has the right conditions to develop stuff like theft, Marxism and the Democratic Party. My vote is that we just stay here and work on this planet.

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