Kepler 452B: An Earth-Like Planet 1,400 Light Years Away

A planet more like Earth than any other exoplanet yet documented has been discovered by NASA scientists. The planet is called Kepler-452b, and although it is 60 percent bigger than our planet, it has a year that’s about 385 days long. Kepler-452b orbits a G-type star, just like our own sun but 1.5 billion years older. Kepler data analysis lead Jon Jenkins of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, says: [Read More]

First Self-lensing Binary Star System Confirmed

The first self-lensing binary star system, one in which the mass of the closer star can be measured by how powerfully it magnifies light from its more distant companion star, has been confirmed by researchers at the University of Washington. The possibility of such a system was predicted by an astronomer in 1973, working with stellar evolution models of the time. The discoveries happened mainly by accident. What initially appeared to be a sort of upside-down planet instead uncovered a new technique to study binary star systems. [Read More]