NASA發現「新地球」

美國太空總署( NASA)發現「新地球」。「新地球」在太陽系外,距離地球 600光年( 1年光相等約 9.46萬億公里),體積為地球 2.4倍,它環繞一個類似太陽的恒星公轉一周,可能有水,適宜生物居住,恍如地球的雙生兒。
這顆行星名為「開普勒 22b」,是 NASA用「開普勒」( Kepler)望遠鏡首次在太陽系外發現的類似地球行星,跟地球很多相似之處:地球每 365日環繞太陽公轉一周,它則每 290日環繞一顆恒星公轉一周;跟地球一樣處於恒星的「可居住帶」中,若有大氣層包圍,表面溫度估計約 29° C,跟地球溫帶春季差不多;可能有液態水,即可孕育生命。至於它的主要成份是崖石、氣體或液體,還有待進一步確定。
自今年 2月以來,開普勒望遠鏡共發現 1,094顆新的候選行星,令總數增至 2,326個,但迄今只有包括開普勒 22b在內的 29顆行星獲確定是真行星,當中又以開普勒 22b最似地球。 NASA開普勒項目科學家赫金斯說:「這是發現地球『雙胞胎』之旅上一個重要里程碑。」
路透社/美聯社

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