Apr. 18, 2013 — NASA's Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.
The Kepler-62 system has five planets; 62b, 62c, 62d, 62e and 62f. The Kepler-69 system has two planets; 69b and 69c. Kepler-62e, 62f and 69c are the super-Earth-sized planets.
Two of the newly discovered planets orbit a star smaller and cooler than the sun. Kepler-62f is only 40 percent larger than Earth, making it the exoplanet closest to the size of our planet known in the habitable zone of another star. Kepler-62f is likely to have a rocky composition. Kepler-62e, orbits on the inner edge of the habitable zone and is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth.
Ah the wonders of science! This is fantastic news! Although it is uncertain whether life could be found on these planets, it's definitely interesting to think of the implications of how exact our own solar system is to support life. Even if these planets do not contain habitable environments, we are beginning to zero in on the right conditions for life to flourish.
It gives new perspective on the search for life when you truly understand all of the factors that play into our existence on earth. I highly encourage everyone to research how much the planets around us do to keep us safe from the deadly embrace of open space.
In The Observer and the Chained Reality universe I touch on this concept. How complex it really is to create(or re-create) the conditions that our planet has to support life. There is more to it than just the "Goldylocks Zone" and having liquid water! The placement and size of other planets in our solar system also lend major factors into our survival.
A lot to think about, I know... However, it's important to understand. It makes our wars and politics seem trivial when you understand just how lucky we have it.