Astronomers Find Smallest Planet Yet Outside Solar System - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Astronomers Find Smallest Planet Yet Outside Solar System

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Astronomers looking for planets similar to Earth have found the smallest planet yet outside of our solar system.

 

Scientists detected the planet, about the size of our moon, using NASA's Kepler telescope, launched in 2009 to hunt for Earth-like planets.

The scientists say the newfound planet is too hot to support life. They estimate its surface temperature is 700 degrees Fahrenheit. It also lacks an atmosphere and water on the surface.

 

Scientists are still searching for a planet the size of Earth in the so-called Goldilocks zone - the not-too-hot, not-too-cold place where water could exist on the surface.

 

The discovery is detailed in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

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