Kepler scientists this week announced the 219 newest additions to the exoplanet count – 10 of which are identified as “terrestrial” – a far better word to use than “earthlike.” Terrestrial meaning rocky, comparable to earth in size, and in their star’s habitable zone. The total number of planet candidates now? 4,034. Confirmed? 2335 verified as planets. Kepler first looked in the Cygnus constellation region for these discoveries and this latest addition represents the end of its work in Cygnus. One conclusion – Half the planets in our galaxy are either rocky and larger than Earth or are like Neptune, smaller giant gas planets.
Next Monday is Aphelion: the follow-up to the summer solstice. Even now, we’re sitting right at 15 hours of sunlight per day, with long evenings.
The August 21st Solar Eclipse is less than 2 months away. Locally, it’ll be just partial. For totality, your closest vantage point is South Carolina, just a 12-hour drive from here. More information at fi.edu/eclipse.