December 5th, 2011
11:16 AM ET

Planet confirmed that could have water

Kepler-22b is the first confirmed planet in the “habitable zone,” the area around a star where a planet could exist with liquid water on its surface, that has been discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission.

The planet’s radius is about 2.4 times that of the Earth. It is located about 600 light years away. Its orbital period is shorter than that of the Earth: a "year" on Kepler-22b is 290 days instead of 365.

There were two other planets confirmed this year by other projects in the habitable zone, but their stars are much cooler than our Sun, and their orbits are more like that of Venus or Mars, scientists say.

Kepler-22b is 15% closer to its star than we are to the Sun. But since Kepler-22b's star is dimmer, lower in temperature and smaller than our Sun, researchers' modeling suggests it is a similar temperature to the Earth, said Bill Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center.

"If the greenhouse warming were similar on this planet and had a surface, its surface temperature would be something like 72 Fahrenheit, a very pleasant temperature here on Earth."

Share your thoughts about searching for life on other planets

The warmer a planet, the more evaporation of water there would be, Borucki said. A planet can't have a surface temperature that's very hot without losing all of the surface water.

The Kepler mission reported in February that it had found 54 planet candidates in the habitable zone; Kepler-22b is the first of these to be confirmed, and those results will be published in The Astrophysical Journal. There are still 48 potential planets from that batch.

Researchers find planets by examining the brightness of stars as a function of time; brightness drops when a potential planet crosses the star. Three transits are required for a planet confirmation. The period of the transit of Kepler 22-b was 7.4 hours. It did not appear to give off its own light, indicating it is a planet and not a star.

Scientists do not yet have a measurement of the mass of Kepler 22-b, which would tell them more about the composition of the planet. This summer, when the planet's star will be high in the sky, ground-based telescopes can attempt to get its mass.

The planet is even more mysterious because its radius is between that of Earth and Uranus and Neptune, both of which have radii about four times the size of Earth's. So we don't know what a planet in this size range typically looks like.

"We have no planet like this in our solar system," he said.

Is life restricted to Earth, or could it exist somewhere like Kepler 22-b? It may be that the characteristics of Earth, with its particular position in the solar system, particular magnetic field strength and presence of larger planets like Jupiter make Earth very rare in having life (this is called the "Rare Earth Hypothesis.") But it's also possible that life in the universe is common, and we're only one example.

"As soon as we find an independent example of life somewhere else, we’ll know it’s ubiquitous throughout the universe. We’re all looking for No. 2," said Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute.

The Kepler mission has now identified a total of 2,326 planet candidates.

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Filed under: In Space • Kepler • News
soundoff (1,288 Responses)
  1. Computer Support Rancho Mirage

    really awesome blog, thanks for sharing

    June 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  2. 15 year old college student :)

    A lot of the comments on here are getting kinda religious and off topic.... I just got to say that we need to fix our own planet before even thinking about other "habitable" planets. My generation is having to pick up the past generations mistakes so maybe if we stop worrying about what others beliefs are and start working together we won't have to be living in a great big dumpster. Thanks.

    December 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  3. adamofthegarden

    I hope my clones decellulorize and revert well. keppler kush world domination. lighten up light up and relax.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  4. adamofthegarden

    Light water ground. wonder how good the weed is.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  5. helenecha

    Good news. However, we should not forget that they once said the black planet over there which is watched by Kepler.

    December 7, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  6. Name*goatman

    No kepler mission. E.B.E./ E.T. told us where they are.

    December 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  7. I believe in God

    Everyone who doesn't believe in God has no purpose in life. Everything on Earth does not have a scientific meaning and there is no real proof of every single thing scientists discover.

    December 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  8. voice of reason

    For all of those who failed in physics Light travels at 186,000 miles per second (300,000 kilometers per second). Therefore, a light second is 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers). A light year is the distance that light can travel in a year, or:
    186,000 miles/second * 60 seconds/minute * 60 minutes/hour * 24 hours/day * 365 days/year = 5,865,696,000,000 miles/year
    A light year is 5,865,696,000,000 miles (9,460,800,000,000 kilometers).
    Now if the planet is 600 light years away, that means that the light that we just captured was produced 600 years ago. Furthermore, IF we would be able to travel at the speed of light ( which we can't, at least not yet ) that means it would take us 600 years just to get there. Due to the fact that, we are limited to our traveling speed all of this is very irrelavant. We would never be able to get there with our current technology, even if we are able develop the technology to travel at the speed of light, nothing guarrantees we could survive a 600 years "Drive". Now for all of you NOOBS that love to bring religion to everything, please STOP. The last thing i want is to see religion is every single thread. It is alway the same CRAP, OVER AND OVER AGAIN. You have your believes and I have my believes, you won't change mine i won't change yours ( EVER). Therefore, dont even try, it is OBNOXIOUS and ANNOYING. Thank you!

    December 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Just my Observation

      If your mind is so made up, then there's no reason to get your underwear in a bunch if those who have faith want to express it. This is America sir/madam (most likely sir). So if you are so infuriated, then stop reading and responding to the religious posts. That's what I do at times when nimrods like you start spouting off nonsensical rubbish you learned from the Discovery Channel. Honestly, you have never come to ANY of your conclusion based on YOUR OWN discoveries. Your nothing more than a parrot, repeating what you've been indoctrinated with by the high priest of science and their little preachers such as you. So let freedom of expression and speech have its place. You do have a choice NOT to respond.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
      • voice of reason

        Clearly your an IDIOT!!! That i came over on my own, thank you. Second it is not Discover Channel nonsense it is Physics. Since your uneducated you lack such knowledge! Furthermore, you spitting Idiotic comments about freedom of speech completely cancels what you are saying. You preach freedom of peace, however you criticize me when I use it. In addition, i do not respond to any idiot religion battles, due to the fact that IDIOT like you are beyond comprehending what others say. Also, this is an article about scientist finding water in another planet. Therefore, that is what the posting should be about, not a bunch of raging "Believers" full of "Faith" that don't even know what they believe in. Furthermore, your clearly american, and an idiot uneducated fool like many millions other Americans, first improve your schools systems and your country education and then, only then you are able to elaborate and make logical and reasonable comments.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • Just my Observation

        Again, you've proven how passionately foolish you are about something you know very little about. My statement did not contradict itself. One has the OPTION to address (or not) a subject in the manner in which they wish to. If it were up to people like you, no one would have the right to say anything unless it made to sense to you; your LITTLE standard of logical answers, so called. Physics are laws that govern the physical realm. There are laws that govern the spiritual realm. Those laws you are unwilling to deal with because they require spiritual insight. Nonetheless, just as one cannot SEE the laws of physics but FEEL its effects, one can also FEEL the effects of the spiritual laws. One that's spiritual sees these kinds of discoveries as further proof of God's ominpotence and wisdom. It is all about perspective.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
      • voice of reason

        Clearly your a Christian and talk about "LITTLE standard of logical answers". Damm you ramble without making any sense! Shut up and stop being a tool!!!

        December 7, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  9. rollo toemassi

    I just bought the planet and there will be NO such thing as religion of ay sort on my rock!!! Easyfix u couldnt of said it any better. All u tools that believe in a higher power are IDIOTS!!!

    December 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Just my Observation

      ...says the tools of atheism and so called science. Smh!!

      December 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  10. HorseCentz

    Call me when they find the first planet with over a million fast food restaurants, bumper to bumper freeway traffic, and non-stop war. Until then I remain skeptical about claims of earth-like planets.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Peter Kirsch

    oh, there's life on other worlds alright. We are not unique. There are probably a plexigoogle (a Google, which is a 1 followed by a 100 zeros, to the googleth power) habitable planets out there and most of them contain some sort of life. It would be interesting to build a telescope powerful enough to see to the surface of these planets.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • binky42

      I think you mean a "googolplex" – and your hypothesis is speculation at this point. It is highly likely that there is life on other planets, but since we are the only known example right now it's impossible to even guess how many, if any, other examples of life exist.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  12. Carl Hungus

    I like Pepsi.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  13. binky42

    We'll know a lot more about this planet (and others) when JWST is finally launched in a few years (fingers crossed). This could be a false alarm, and most of the information about it right now is speculation, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a back-up Earth.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  14. FrankR

    Travelling at the speed of light for 600 years, now that sounds foolish and probably will never happen, unless we learn to travel with thought. I choose to believe in the God of Abraham, it makes more sense to me.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • binky42

      Really? Because photons do it all the time. And how 'bout them neutrinos!

      December 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
      • FrankR

        What about humans?

        December 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • you all got worked

        A-Bomb...that was a real hoot science! thanks for that one. Why stop there...let's play God and see what happens... Science does very little to realize that humans can't be in control of such things because of how screwed up we really are. More harm than good will come from all this science and technology. Humans are already fat, lazy, and narcissistic because of science.

        December 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • binky42

        FrankR – just 43 years ago most people could barely comprehend putting a man on the moon, but it happened a year later. Who can say what will come in the next year, decade, century?

        December 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  15. KittyM99

    What does any of this have to do with a new planet like Earth? Keep to the subject.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  16. ZoSo

    So what? It's 600 LIGHT YEARS AWAY FROM US; we'll never be able to visit it or even take samples, so what's the point?

    December 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • binky42

      Well, we could send a probe (probably ion-drive propelled) – it would just take a really really long time to get there.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  17. TicToc

    Hopefully they fight harder than the indians did or they will regret having us as neighbors.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  18. YD2112011

    You humans are just pathetic! Wait till we invade your Earth! We shall be just and fair in delivering you ultimate freedom from this planet we will then call ours! Muuuhaaaaaa

    December 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • binky42

      Okay Stephen Hawking. You can stop trying to scare everyone and go back to doing math problems now.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  19. Ed

    What they are trying to say in the article is that the planet is in the "goldilocks zone" and so has the potential to support life due to the fact that it could feature liquid water and probably has temperatures similar to those found on Earth. They have yet to test for composition. Hence their statement that the planet "could" have liquid water on its surface. Also, note that all of the statements are given based on the assumption that all life is only supported under conditions similar to those on earth, which is probably a bit closed-minded.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  20. Vad

    GREAT!!! When can we move in and screw up that planet too?

    December 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  21. ME

    Hopefully it's ZZ Top's "Planet of Women" we find 🙂

    /Oh yeah
    //driving me insane

    December 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  22. Kirk

    If that planet has oil, we'll be there!

    December 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  23. karbry1

    God is real, and all those who seek him will have ever lasting life. When the "caught up" that is mentioned in the Bible happens, remember why you were not taken...hopefully by then you will have changed your mind.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  24. mikeN

    What! It took them this long to find it? They should just ask any Star Fleet captain and they'll give them a long list of M-Class planets at close distance. While at it they should also ask them for a ride because with Earth current technology it's impossible to get to a planet 600 light years away. They need warp engines for that.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  25. you all got worked

    atheists: haha religious people are so dumb because we scientist can explain why the tides come in and go out, how the sun exists, how earth was physically formed...hahah what morons chrisitans are to think some thing coded the codes found in all matter...hahaha how dumb chrisitans are to think that complex matter and life forms didn't just evolve over enough time..hahaha i love being all knowning and never learning! Hi, I am an atheist and I will never understand that physical observations and scientific explainations blind me from the end result of all of these molecular codes. Atheist and scientists, please try to create a human with all the physical makeup that's in a human being. Create that human to have love and emotions and understanding the same why we do. You couldn't! yet you think nature and coded cells and molcules likely didn't alone...No logic in that at all. And no, I have a 4 yr degree and have taken plenty of bio classes and chem classes to know its all rubiish in disproving God. That's why some of the most renouned scientist are firm believers in God.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • you all got worked

      oops...didn't should be did it. scientist should be plural.. sorry for my fast typing...this stuff fires me up!

      December 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  26. ComeBreakMe

    This announcement isn't even really that big of a deal. The announcement of the discovery of planets in the Gliese 581 system was actually way more significant. The Gliese 581 systen is only 20.5 light years away, as opposed to the Kepler 22 system which is 600 light years away. Also, they haven't even determined the density and surface composition of the planet yet. Current hypothesis suggests that Kepler-22b could have a surface that more closely matches Neptune than earth. Even if it has a rocky surface, reports suggest the planet could likely be made up completely of water. Also, if it has earth-like density, the gravity on the planet would be over twice that of earth. If it has water-like density, the gravity would be less than half of that of earth. So, already the likelihood of life existing (at least how we know it to exist) is highly unlikely.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      Yeah, what he/she said...

      December 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  27. JB

    Earth like planet? Would that be one filled with greedy fools out for only themselves, destroying everything that stand between them and their desires.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  28. Rodney

    By reading the comments here there are more Liberal Idiots out there than I thought. It just shows that my fears are worse than I thought. We probaly need to find another planet because this one is in trouble with people like this in it.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      The thing is... people are people no matter where we are.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  29. ComeBreakMe

    Interesting...too bad it's 600 light years away...That means we aren't reaching this planet until we figure out how to fold space-time (at least a century away from this technology unfortunately). Were far more likely to determine if life extra- planetary life exists in the Gliese 581 system.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  30. citizenUSA

    God's going, "damn, they found me".

    December 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  31. Mike

    Very interesting. Now we just have to solve the riddle of, even if light speed were possible, it would take us 600+ years to get there and 600+ years to get back again.
    Quite obviously, we don't have any "known" technology (unless it is conveniently hidden away in the bowels of Area 51) that is remotely capable of getting a human, or even a pilotless drone ship, there and back again before the human race extinguishes itself. So, this is all kind of interesting but sad conjecture that we will never able able to follow-up on.
    When I was a kid, I used to just love all this stuff...."what if?". Now, the reality is "no matter what if, we'll never know anyway!"
    I would much prefer we stick with the reality of what we are going to do with (in the not too distant future) a vastly overpopulated Earth. How could we colonize the Moon and possibly Mars, and maybe a "real" space station in the shape and form of that envisioned in "2001 A Space Odyssey", instead of the uncoordinated floating junk pile we have in orbit right now. Not meaning disrespect to those who have tirelessly put the International Space Station into being, but the real support (i.e. cash) is just not there to get the job done properly.
    The USA led the way in that wonderful golden age of the Mercury and Apollo missions. But, got distracted, and I fear the passion needed for real space exploration is now gone. The financial cost is simply too great. We may reach for the planets again sometime. But, my generation is all but done with it for the time being. I suspect it will be up to our children's children's children's children to put it right and get space exploration back on track.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  32. jorge washinsen

    You can bet there is at least one religious cult there stirrng up trouble.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  33. citizenUSA

    I say we nuke it before it causes any problems.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  34. TheOtherAnswer

    A planet that much bigger than earth? Are their mountains? If there are I bet they are hugggeee. I call a house near the biggest one.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  35. Excellent! Good job!

    Very good. How do i get there from here?

    December 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  36. Hogeye

    Hey Guys,
    This is the first time I've posted to a news item but feel compelled on this occasion, even though some may say I really have nothing meaningful to contribute. To me the entire question of deity, gods, evolution, age of man (whatever that means) who's on first, etc., is simple enough and these are two great considerations, viz. Natural and Supernatural. Do you believe in one or the other or both? One precludes the other. It has to be one or the other. We live in a natural universe. We are natural beings. We are born naturally. We live naturally. We die naturally. We may not understand our whole existence but that does not make what we do not understand supernatural. If it does, where does it end? Do we read chicken entrails or simply entreat unseen deities in prayer? You see the problem.

    Attributing morality and other admirable qualities in man such as love, compassion and altruistic behavior to our deities begs the question. But, we do not have to be in anyone's face or mean about rational evaluation of our existence.

    Just saying.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  37. Minorkle

    We're #1!... There is no #2!

    December 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  38. Tom

    If god created man in his own image, how big of an underachiever is he?After watching the history channel for decades, I'm convinced the human race is some sort of biological mistake

    December 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      That's a good one.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  39. Bob

    Always sooo much hate from the atheists.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • binky42

      There are two types of atheists: those who feel compelled to respond to the ignorant comments on science articles, and those who just bang their heads on the desk.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • james

      Just as much hate comes from all angles of a discussion. Atheists and religious zealots are the worst, though; often I find myself squared up against an atheist who refuses to listen to logic and reason, which they themselves attempt (unsuccessfully) to espouse. Conversely, religious zealots cannot seem to grasp the same concept of reason, and for the same reason as the atheists: they believe themselves to be absolutely right. Only their evidence differs. They're all one in the same. The amount of hypocrisy and self-righteousness from both sides is astounding.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  40. GSW

    Zymurology is the answer – what was the question? Burp.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  41. james

    In this case the jokes aren't revolving around politics and economics, but rather around religion.

    How many of you idiots - Atheists and religious zealots alike - realize the profundity of discoveries such as these? We're talking about the possibility of life outside our solar system.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • binky42

      I think everyone who clicked on the link to read this article realizes that.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • james

        Yet they choose instead to focus on trivialities.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
      • binky42

        Including yourself.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
      • james


        December 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • Pastafarian

        ummm, lol

        December 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  42. Who done it?

    Earth like with those dimensions, really? And it "could have" water. Scientific are missing hundreds thousands pieces here that makes Earth unique in the vast universe.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  43. Representative for JC

    The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. Don't be a fool. Look all around you, the Creator is letting you know HE is here and that he loves you.

    However, the choice is up to you, but do remember, it is appointed unto men once to die, but after death, the judgement.

    You don't see atoms either, but the Almighty God has created them. You don't see GRAVITY, but it brings you back to earth. You don't see AIR either, but you're breathing the oxygen God is supplying to you daily.

    Wake up people, God is speaking to us via dreams, visions, the news, and even in your hearts – WAKE UP!!!! Earthquakes everywhere. The sea and the waves roaring – WAKE UP! WAKE UP!

    GOD is trying to get your attention. There is still hope for you if you turn to Jesus Christ! Enough said.

    Have a great day! 🙂

    December 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • binky42

      Why do religious people have to talk like it's 1573?

      December 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      I think it's more like some humans are trying to get god's attention.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      If God wants our attention so badly, why doesn't he just tell us? Ummmm, yeah, that's what I thought.

      Listen, just because *you* don't understand it, doesn't mean that god did it. I cut up pieces of DNA and stick them back together to make them do what I want for a living. Maybe what you think is a miracle isn't all that miraculous to me (or the many others who do things YOU don't get).

      Now tell God to get back to the Denver game. Tim Tebow needs his help on this next drive down the field.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
      • you all got worked

        You might be stupid buddy...explain why world renoun scientists are firm believers is God. Is it because those world renoun scientists don't know as much scientific facts as you...hahaha worked you big time...good night little boy!

        December 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
      • Kevin

        @You All Got Worked – scientists who do have a belief in a god or gods generally are not fundamentalists. They understand that faith is faith, and facts are facts. Also the more focused the work is on evolution, abiogenesis, or cosmology, the lower the rate of religious adherence. Also, the higher you go in the hierarchy of science the lower the rate of adherence.

        December 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
      • you all got worked

        KEVIN – if the facts are so concerete, then why do any scientists have faith in God. How is it that they draw a much different conclusion than other scientists. Fundementalist scientists are believers too which you acknowledge becuase you said that the rate of believers is lower as you go deeper in the hierarchy of fundementalist scientist – meaning there are believers. So how is it that even some fundmentalist scientists believe in God if the level of scientific understanding is so overwhelmingly convincing in discrediting God?

        December 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  44. citizenUSA

    If anyone is living on it they should be jumping for joy because we can't get there to screw-up their planet.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  45. Craig

    So many godless people on here. NICE!!! Can you believe in this day and age, believers still exist?
    BTW, no such thing as atheism, its called realism.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • james

      Ahahahaha, last I checked, realism focuses on the blatant facts of our existence (read: survival), not on "what ifs" and "are theres".

      The question of whether or not a god or deities exist is one of those "what ifs" and "are theres". Ergo, realists are by definition agnostics. Whether there is a god or not, it doesn't matter; what matters is that we're here.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  46. Who done it?

    The wonders of a great creator indeed!

    Until today, I haven't seen anything been created by itself. A Car, a house, a watch ... You and me... then, you believe that the huge and unique Universe came to life by itself...

    December 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • binky42

      Nothing happens by itself. It takes an input of energy. Energy in. Energy out. It's a perfect balance.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • james

        And where did the first energy come from? There is a universe beyond our own, else this place could not, by simple math, come into existence. Nothing begets nothing.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
      • binky42

        Depends which version of the multi-verse theory you prefer.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Craig

      It's called Science all star.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • Bob

        Life was not created by science. Explain the first spark life on this planet?

        December 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  47. Nubadopofloposhopolopolis

    Ehh how did this dead-end into a conversation about religion? They're talking about a possible earth-like planet out there.

    Take your bible elsewhere. Science has no time for you. Good day sir!

    December 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  48. philip

    Is it really ridiculous to think the universe was designed? From the microscopic to the macroscopic world, things look elegant to me. Our cells? Our DNA? I'm blown away. Not to mention the anthropic principle that our universe genuinely displays. In my opinion, probability cannot account for how intricate the universe is. Mad respect to all participating in this discussion. Maybe the universe our our bodies "appear" to be designed because they were.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • binky42

      As logical creatures, human beings are always actively looking for patterns in life. We can pick the next number in a sequence, and we can arrange a color wheel with practically no artistic experience. However, some people think that it if takes intelligence to recognize a pattern, that intelligence has to be behind the designing of the pattern too. This just isn't true. Why do you assume that the world would be random and without structure if there was no designer? Order makes natural sense, right down to the atom level.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • you all got worked

      my biggest disconnect with rejecting God on the basis of science is that all the matter that comprises everything cannot be proven to have a mind of its own. DNA and all the unbelievable complexities of this universe are far to complex to be happenstance in my OPINION. Even a scientist with all the elements that are present in a human brain would spend a life time not even coming even remotely close to recreating the human brain. So how can we just think molecules can do it alone? And if they can, how likely is it that the program embedded in them to end up as a certain physical object just happened to exist with them without a designer? That's my take on it all.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • binky42

        I think your biggest problem is a lack of science education. Take a few more physics and chemistry classes and it might make more sense without the "Creator" factor. I don't mean this as an insult, but some of your questions really do have scientific answers.

        December 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
      • you all got worked

        Binky: i am positive I could clear up some confusion with a deep understanding of physics and other scientific areas of study. No offense to you, but that's not going to address my point or ultimate confusion. Let me attempt to rephrase. Science and religion run into the same problem...absolutism. We all have no factual understanding or proof of the origin of matter or the very first cell or first matter or first anything. We just accept that is was always here. Big bang assumes 4 elements were present at the time of the bang. no clue how these 4 elements developed before the bang. I have a hard time making sense of these elements that have a code to them inorder to do a certain physical function and that all of these codes came to be through process of evolution alone. It's a code...which by our uinderstanding is a program for a function. I suppose you can believe that nature has programs for everything and it all works out through process of evolution but I don't see a physical explaination addressing the issue of molecular code existing in the first place wothout manipulation. Ever play the why game? Eventually you cannot explain anymore...

        December 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Kevin

      Except, of course, that there is no evidence that the universe, the solar system, the earth, or life on earth was the result of any form of "intelligent design". And, everything the lDiots have claimed was "intelligently designed" or irreducibly complex isn't.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • you all got worked

        Some of the most world renouned scientists firmly believe in God. Are they idiots Kevin? Those scientists have a far deeper understanding than you do about science yet they still come to the same damn conclusion I do. You just got worked and nothing you can say to refute this point.

        December 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  49. Luther51

    Atheists: The only people on Earth incapable of being wrong.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Keith

      Christians: The only people on Earth incapable of being wrong.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • Zaphod Beeblebrox

        I see what you did there.

        December 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
      • Just an Observation

        Your comment is not directed properly. It is not Christian's that are pontificating or posing to be all knowing. Christian's are assertive because of the infallible Book we rely on. So, your fight, whether you want accept it or not, is with God and His Word, not us. True believers only rely on the scriptures for their authority. So, if you want to be like Saul (before he became Paul) and kick against the goads, go for it. Nevertheless, it will not change the truth. Christians have been persecuted, burned, fed to loins and skinned alive for the same truth you are now belittling. So keep it coming. It is a blessing to be ridiculed for Christ sake.

        December 6, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      Religion, fun for everyone!

      December 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
      • you all got worked

        atheists: haha religious people are so dumb because we can explain why the tides come in and go out, how the sun exists, how earth was physically formed...hahah what morons to think some thing coded the codes found in all matter...hahaha how dumb to think that complex matter and life forms didn't just evolve over enough time..hahaha i love being all knowning and never learning! Hi, I am an atheist and I will never understand that physical observations and scientific explainations blind me from the end result of all of these molecular codes.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • voice of reason

      @ just my observation
      I usually don't comment on dumb posts, however you derserve it. First of all as i clearly stated about in our conversation above, YOUR AN IDIOT. Just like many other Christian you have the wrong information, however you think your always rigth. First of all the JEWS got prosecuted, fed to the lions and so on, NOT THE CHRISTIANS!!! Furthermore, Jesus, your savior praticed JUDAISM, Jesus FOLLOWED THE JEWISH LAWS EVEN CELEBRATED IT'S HOLLIDAY. In addition, according to your precious Book, he even ressurrect during a Jewish HOLLIDAY AKA EASTER. Easter was celebrated WAY before Jesus was born. In addition to that lets not forget the inquisition, that was done in the name of your God and in the name of Jesus Christ. As per your book, please realize that there are too many flaws in it. Such as were it came from and who wrote it and composed it. Now i know you are going to come with your pathetic Christian morals and dumb comment, after all you have the right to be an Idiot. However, first get your facts straight, than make logical intelectual comment.

      December 7, 2011 at 9:38 am |
      • Just an Observation

        Clearly you have a "Discovery Channel" education about Christianity. The Jews were CHRISTIANS; the first Christians. It clearly states that in the book of Acts. You have a historical "text book" knowledge of Christianity, which is incomplete. They were called Christians because they followed Jesus. Anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, was considered a Christian. It had nothing to do with race or tribe. It had (and still has) to do with following Jesus' commandments. The inquisition may have been done in the name of God, but God did not inspire it. Now, simply because you don't comprehend the bible, does not make it flawed as you stated. The bible is a spiritual book. It is understood by revelation, God's revelation. Also, the bible was composed the same way many historical book are. Its writers recorded what the observed. That fact that you do not accept their testimony and eyewitness account is inconsequential.

        December 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  50. you all got worked

    Explain the logic in thinking that a horse, camel, grape, orange, corn, tomato, dog, cat, water, trees, and all other independent life forms that we depend on or find amusment in came to be by themselves? Oh wait, I know, all of these things that are present can be explained on a molecular level. Well gee, you're telling me that all of this stuff has matter that we can label with words and explain with observations? No way, that's amazing that tangible objects have a make up....! Bury your head in the sand why dont ya! Put a scientist in a lab with all the elements of the universe and all the technology to observe it with and he will explain away a plethora of physical things. You know what he won't do? He won't figure out or ask where the lab came from.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Keith

      Your ignorance of science is astounding.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • you all got worked

        Science is not hard to understand Keith, it is pretty straight forward. Science observes things and attempts to explain physical makeup. It crosses the line when theories are made about purpose and origin.

        December 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      As a scientist, I take exception to your comment about science not being hard to understand. If it were easy to understand, you would not have written your post. But putting the obvious aside, your question seems to be "where did it all begin?" And the answer is simple: NOBODY knows. So, science comes up with theories they can test based on the data that is available. So as much as you'd like to make both sides equals, they have nothing in common. Science doesn't care about the answer or what you want to believe. Science only cares about the facts, the data, the truth.

      So, along your line of reaosning, if there is a god who created all of this, who created god?

      December 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • you all got worked

        All knowing and never learning! I understand that science only cares about observable facts, I never said anything about what sciences cares about...What physical observation or scientific facts could possibly discredit the end result of all we see and there being a God. Tell me please! You can't and that's my point.

        December 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Kevin

      Keith is right. Epic fail. Why do people who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science, go onto message boards and demonstrate that ignorance for all too see?

      We see this many areas of science – evolution, abiogenesis, cosmology, etc. Why? I mean, I have chosen to be ignorant about Elizabethan literature. Yet I do not go onto message boards and post inane lying drivel about Elizabethan lit.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
      • you all got worked

        Keith: No one is saying science is wrong about its findings...i really don't get why you are harping on people being ignorant of these scientific facts. physical observation cannot explain the end result my friend. You are very foolish to think that discovering physical facts change the meaning of all you see.

        December 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  51. greenstar20

    I think this is amazing; we are witnessing history, maybe our grandchildren will get a chance to visit and explore.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  52. binky42

    The whole concept of the "Goldilocks Zone" is really outdated, as we now know tidal friction can warm moons like Europa to possibly support life. We need to be looking everywhere for potential life-supporting planets, and not just in one spot around each star.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Keith

      It's a matter of where to best apply the available resources.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • binky42

        If the end goal is finding life on another world, then the best resource would be to send a probe to Europa. The EJSM mission is on the chopping block as far as funding is concerned.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  53. Keith

    Sorry. The Koch Brothers have already laid claim to it. Polluting starts in two weeks.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  54. SMH

    Forgive them, Lord. For they know not what they say.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Keith

      Right wing extremist Christians?

      December 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  55. Joma14

    Based on this discussion, take me there!

    December 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • binky42

      I'm coming with you.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  56. Pastafarian

    Sorry, I didn't hear a single word of that video while watching Robin Meade. Dayyyy-yummm!

    December 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  57. penguiner

    who cares if it is a little closer to the sun, all we need to know is if it has the exact same CO2 concentration, because according to the "climate experts", CO2 is responsible for everything.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • JihadJoe

      I will be very interested to hear what they say about that over time, this is a great find.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  58. WD

    Maybe it's an optical illusion and the "water" is really just rock that gives off a different UV spectrum.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • JihadJoe

      A message for our generation by God, He is showing us new secrets that are said to be revealed in the last days.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
      • citizenUSA

        Oooh, better get my library books back...

        December 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
      • Pastafarian

        wow, I really hope you're just being sarcastic. It's hard to tell!

        December 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  59. JihadJoe

    NASA has been allowed by God to find new creations, perfect earth and a place for all believers. I believe this planet is going to be destroyed by nuclear war and will be a huge burning rock... Hell on earth.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      please tell me your posts are typed in sarcasm font.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  60. JihadJoe

    God is great, He has created a new earth for us, I think this may be it.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • WD

      I don't think we deserve a new planet. We can't seem to handle this one.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • JihadJoe

      We dont deserve, but God loves us so much he will give us the paradise we were originally created for. We humans messed it up, but a loving God forgives and still wants paradise for us.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
      • citizenUSA

        Seems it's a really odd means to an end road.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • voice of reason

      After reading a few of your post i came with the conclusion that you are off your Rocket. Please got meet your God and leave us alone.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  61. serdich

    That planet has a gas that will turn your childhood nightmares into reality..the only way to save yourself is to go under blanket..

    December 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • JihadJoe

      Under the blanket is darkness, and yes the nightmares are there. IF you havent found Christ the light then you are living under that blanket in darkness.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • serdich

        found who ?

        December 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • JihadJoe

        Serdich- God loves you, dont go to Hell, You will be missed by the ones that love you.

        December 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
      • Pastafarian

        I found Christ once. He was hiding under my bed.

        December 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • serdich if he loves me why is he sending me to Hell so my loved one will miss me..I guess he punishing not only me but my relatives as well..unless of course you mean the he loves me crysp..

        December 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      We should name it Planet Dutch Oven!

      December 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  62. kevin

    Nice. Good observations.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  63. terabid

    Have you ever noticed that most religions are similar to a mnarchy? There is kneeling, prostrating, and infinite adulration of the king-like character called god. We burn people at the stake, stone them to death, lop their heads off, cut out their hearts, and other grizzly actions all in the name of a god. If there is a god then I would never understand why he/she/it would stoop to the absolute silliness we humans have heaped on one another.
    Such a god would have little interest in who wins the football game and as a member of the Knesset once said "where was God during the Holocaust? Maybe he was taking a nap.
    As an agnostic I can imagine there is some kind of power out there and we may some day even truly understand it, (after all it was only a few hundred years ago we thought the earth was flat).
    I would love to be a fly on the wall about five hundred years from now. Our entire understanding about the universe could be turned upside down, So until then all we can do is to continually make ourselves smarter and research like Kepler is one step toward that goal.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  64. Me

    I read so many religious comments and thought i'd be at the end of the comments section but i wasn't even close! lol. Some kind of scientific news always has to spark something..

    "you god loving religious people are so funny because you teach nothing but love for others and peace and good will towards man but all you can do is sit here and bash on people who don't believe in the same thing you do."

    I thought that was pretty hilarious! I wonder what atheists do? Oh yea, they bash on people who dont believe in the same they do. Christians don't "teach" love, peace, goodwill. They including myself offer it to people like you without expecting anything in return, or rather they should be. I beg you to grow up a bit and gain some insight on christian beliefs before speaking up. I'll give you that many christians are unable to prove God's existence with their words, and rather call it faith. But one of you thousands of people, who do nothing but counterargue one single religion, please prove that there is no God with your scientific brain of yours and I'll stand beside you, an atheist.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  65. Nick

    You are all retarded..

    December 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  66. WillnAtlanta

    I would say "let's go there", but I'm pretty sure they don't have a Starbucks yets, so, um, yeah...

    December 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  67. serdich

    1. no one created god ..he was always there eternal and uncreated.
    2. If one can accept 1 as absolute truth then they should have no problem accepting that Universe in uncreated and a matter of fact one should accept that anything is uncreated and eternal, thus one needs no god to explain how everything came into existence.
    3. If one accepts that some things are uncreated and eternal (god) and some things are created (universe and everything else) one must ask the question how do we know which things are created or uncreated..means it will bring the question if god is created or uncreated or who created god = infinite regress with no possible answers..

    December 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Pastafarian


      Then who created god? The assumption that anything is "uncreated" is a bit of a stretch. Also, even if what you say is true, who says that your god gives a crap about humans? Maybe he's a fan of whales or E. coli.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  68. Tankard

    What good does it do us to find these "Earth" like planets if we cant go to them. lol

    December 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  69. chris

    this seems like a waste of money. this planet is 600 light years away, we'll NEVER get there .... why does NASA waste $ looking for these places?

    December 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  70. Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Time to fire up the old Improbability Drive.

    December 6, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  71. Anonymymous

    I think it is imperativeve to explore our cosmos. There are many unknowns in our universe. Unfortunatunately our current level of technology prevents us from acceleratanting at a pace that which we can make make rapid discoveries. I am enthusiastic at the prospect that we will some day achieve our dream of reaching some planet which may harbor life, perhaps intelligent life with which we can establish amicable relations. I only hope i can be here to witness such a spectacle.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  72. bluemax77

    Oh no..!! Does this mean we’re not God’s favorite little pastime any more....?? And all the time we’ve been so smug and conceited..!!

    December 6, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  73. ashrakay

    @johnny du, Yes in fact, ships can ride in the sea without captains. It's a matter of buoyancy, not human intervention.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  74. pat davies

    i read email responses, but i have never read as many intelligent responses as i have read here. semper fi

    December 6, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  75. mygod

    Where is the REAL evidence photo/video of this planets existence? I'd rather live in any world out there other than this one I'm at.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • bluemax77

      I’m afraid you’re rather stuck with this one for now...

      December 6, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Kevin

      I'm 99% certain you're not serious. But in the 1% event that you are, space telescopes on the drawing board today will, in fact, be able to directly image many of these planets. Don't expect them to flying though for another fifty years though, and that's only if JWST isn't canceled in the meantime. If it is then don't expect them to be flying ever. That's just the sad reality of this extremely expensive tech.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:23 am |
  76. barry

    No your wrong they dont want to live any place unless JESUS took a crap there.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  77. soulcall

    Great plan god, create untold trillions of stars etc. and make your Bible is so obsolete that it's a miracle for a donkey to walk 30 miles

    December 6, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  78. soulcall

    Hi Ya'll the mighty INTERNET is gonna cripple your God stuff..... then bring it down : won't be long now
    30-35 yrs and it will be headed to the Museum of History

    December 6, 2011 at 1:43 am |
  79. eville11

    positive side; we can locate planets that might be habitable for human life, negative side; in case of emergency we can't get to them.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • barry

      Ya your right, the crazy religious republicans want to stop all funding for anything they dont understand or are not interested in, if it dont spit out cash then dont build it. ther'er type of thinking will be the end of us all.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  80. CM

    I call first dibs on "occupy new planet" joke.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • CM

      damn, too late...

      December 6, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  81. bean

    just in time for our demise 2012! wooh LOL

    December 6, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  82. greg

    If you took 1/2 of the stars in the universe, and if 1/2 of those stars had a planet around them, and 1/2 of those had a planet in the habitable zone, and 1/2 of those had water, and 1/2 of those with water had life, and 1/2 of those had multicellular life, and 1/2 of those had advanced life, and 1/2 of those had some level of civilization, and 1/2 of those had advanced civilization and 1/2 of those had civilizations beyond ours, and then you gave a 1 billionth percent chance of possibility, there would be more civilizations in the universe, beyond ours, than grains of sand on the Earth.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:28 am |
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