Wednesday July 14, 2021:
As of June 2021, we have confirmed 4,424 extrasolar planets (exoplanets). By the time you read this, the number will have gone up. Exoplanets are planets outside of our solar system orbiting other stars. In a galaxy, the Milky Way, of an estimated range of 200 billion to 400 billion stars, and assuming a 1-to-1 star to planet ratio, there would at least 200 billion planets! A majority of those exoplanets may come with their own moons, exomoons, but that is a topic for another time. In this first edition of exoplanets to know about, we will focus on four potential Earth-like worlds discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope: Kepler-186f, Kepler-22b, Kepler-62f, and Kepler-452b. These are worlds located within the habitable zone (where liquid can exist on the surface making them potentially Earth-like) of their star and serve as a major interest in the quest to find life elsewhere in the universe.
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