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Habitable Planet Reality Check: Kepler 1649c & The Implications for Earth-Size Exoplanets in Red Dwarf Habitable Zones

10 Jun 2020, 14:24 UTC
Habitable Planet Reality Check: Kepler 1649c & The Implications for Earth-Size Exoplanets in Red Dwarf Habitable Zones
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Andrew Vanderburg who led the team which found Kepler 1649c. (University of Texas at Austin)
Even though NASA’s Kepler spacecraft was officially retired on October 30, 2018 after it finally exhausted its propellant used for attitude control, teams of scientists around the globe continue to study its data looking for new exoplanets missed by the Kepler science team’s initial analysis. In February of 2020, a group led by graduate student Michelle Kunimoto (University of British Columbia) announced the discovery of 17 new transiting exoplanets which had been previously overlooked in the Kepler database including a potentially habitable world (see “Habitable Planet Reality Check: The Student-Discovered KIC-7340288b”).
On April 15, 2020 NASA announced the discovery of yet another potentially habitable exoplanet orbiting the star Kepler 1649. Found by a team led by NASA Sagan Fellow, Andrew Vanderburg (University of Texas at Austin), this new find is not only of interest in its own right but has provided data for a new statistical estimate for how common Earth-size exoplanets are in the habitable zones of red dwarfs.

Background
The star Kepler 1649 is a G-magnitude 16.3 star located on the border between the constellations of Lyra and Cygnus. Also known ...

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