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Nasa discovers 700 new planets

Tuesday July 27 2010

Nasa’s deep-space Kepler probe has found hundreds of new planets — many similar to earth — sparking new hope of life outside our solar system. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration confirmed yesterday that in six weeks of operation, the spacecraft has found five new solar systems in the Milky Way and identified more than 700 bodies that could be new planets.

Nasa has so far formally announced only five new exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — but early data analysis indicates up to 140 of the 700 identified bodies are earth-like. That is, they are solid masses containing both land and water which could allow simple lifeforms to develop. “The figures suggest our galaxy, the Milky Way [which has more than 100 billion stars] will contain 100 million habitable planets, and soon we will be identifying the first of them,” Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy at Harvard University and a scientist on the Kepler Mission, told Fox News. (Agencies)