Kepler: The Search for Earth-Like Planets

Today is the birthday of German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who was the first astronomer to correctly pinpoint the laws of planetary motion, expanding on Copernican theory and leading to new fields of study. In his honor, NASA founded the Kepler mission, the search for terrestrial planets orbiting other stars. Over the past two year, the mission has identified more than 2,000 planet candidates, and, earlier this month, announced its first discovery of a planet, Kepler-22b, that is in the "habitable zone" of another sun, meaning that the temperature on that planet is though to be hospitable to life.

Below, some artists' renderings of Kepler's discoveries so far.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Playing An Actual Keyboard Cat

A music video transforms food, pets, and objects into extraordinary instruments.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

Video

The Man Who Built a Forest Larger Than Central Park

Since 1979, he has planted more than 1,300 acres of trees.

More in Technology

Just In