back to article Kepler telescope is dead but the data lives on: Earth-sized habitable zone planet found after boffins check for errors

Astronomers have uncovered a new exoplanet that's roughly the same size as Earth and lies within its star's habitable zone 300 light years away after checking for software errors. The images, collected by the now-defunct Kepler space telescope, show a rocky planet – dubbed Kepler-1649c – that is only six per cent larger than …

  1. Filippo Silver badge

    That close to the star, won't it be tidally locked?

    1. Saruman the White Silver badge

      Very probably, although it is possible that there is a resonance between it's orbital period and it's rotational period. Mercury has exactly that (a 3:2 resonance).

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      There's another problem : the star is a red dwarf.

      Those things are not exactly calm and composed, they can spit a CME at you if you look at them wrong.

      And, being that close, if that planet still has an atmosphere it might not be sufficient to sustain human life.

      But at least this time, when they say "an Earth-like planet", they're within an acceptable ball park. I'm tired of reading about the discovery of an "Earth-like" that is more than twice the size of ours. That's not Earth-like, that's just another ball of rock.

      I'm not going to move to a planet where I weigh twice as much simply by getting there.

      1. mr.K

        What is this "simply by getting there"? What do you know? I want answers.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. davenewman

    Re: He made one mistake

    When the other plant gets close, does thread descend from the skies?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He made one mistake

      Which planet? Pern any one from three and take my dragon there

  4. Dr Paul Taylor

    Kepler's law

    every time the more distant planet completes nine orbits, Kepler-1649c has circled its star four times

    Other way round, maybe?

    1. AdamT

      Re: Kepler's law

      Yes, I was thinking that too...

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Kepler's law

        Another useful boffin led site, 1649c is further out.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Tidal locking could still leave a habitable zone between the hot and frozen hemispheres.

    The biggest problem is the age of the red dwarf. If it is young the planet would likely be subject to atmosphere stripping and surface sterilizing flares.

    Rimmer might make it but Lister is toast.

    1. mr.K

      Re: Age?

      Did I hear somebody mention toast? How about a muffin?

    2. Spherical Cow

      Re: Age?

      "Tidal locking could still leave a habitable zone between the hot and frozen hemispheres."

      A tad windy though.

  6. MiguelC Silver badge

    Re: "But code can make mistakes"

    Coders can make mistakes, code just does what it was written to do :)

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