Kepler-10b exoplanet, artwork

Kepler-10b exoplanet, artwork

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Kepler-10b exoplanet. Computer artwork of a view across the surface of Kepler-10b towards its parent star. The discovery of this rocky alien planet was announced on 10 January 2011. It was found by NASA's Kepler Mission, launched in 2009 to scan tens of thousands of stars in the Milky Way to discover Earth-like planets. Kepler-10b is the smallest rocky planet found so far outside the solar system. It has a diameter 1.4 times that of Earth, but orbits closer to its parent star, making its surface temperature more like Mercury. The parent star, Kepler-10, is 560 light years from Earth, in the constellation Draco.

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