NASA mission finds its first rocky planet outside our solar system
An artist's concept of Kepler-10b, an exoplanet with a mass 4.6 times that of Earth.
January 10th, 2011
03:17 PM ET

NASA mission finds its first rocky planet outside our solar system

There goes the celestial neighborhood.

Scientists at the Kepler mission have discovered their first rocky planet outside our solar system, NASA announced Monday.

The exoplanet, called Kepler-10b, is 1.4 times the size of Earth and is the smallest found outside the reach of the sun's gravitational pull, NASA said Monday on its website.

The discovery came after 10 months of data-collecting by NASA's Kepler mission, tasked with finding Earth-like planets.

“The discovery of Kepler 10-b is a significant milestone in the search for planets similar to our own,” Douglas Hudgins, a Kepler scientist based in Washington, said in a news release. “Although this planet is not in the habitable zone, the exciting find showcases the kinds of discoveries made possible by the mission and the promise of many more to come,” he said.

A habitable zone is a region where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface, according to NASA's website.

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Filed under: Science • Space
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    ty cesar. . im not sure exactly what kinda creature it is but its name is ruffnutt

    January 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jordygordy

    @chris, we've been finding planets years now, all of them gas giants, there biggest and most easiest to see, so it only makes sense that we find them first, so its not that big of a deal... But show me a planet with some life on ( and I don't bacteria... I mean animals walking around) than it'll be a big discovery

    January 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jordygordy

    @ natasha, you read my mind, mostly, I'm a christian and I study the stars and the universe and the vast compleities of it make me want to glorify god even more. And it makes me a little terrified to meet him when I think about how complex we are when he created us did you knowthat at any one time in our or cells we have 5,000 chemicals reactions occuring, now multiple that by the millions of cells we have it astounding that he paid that close attention to such small details I would love to meet you and talk more about this 🙂

    January 10, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mmmmm

    Looks like planet match head to me. Are those yellow polar caps sulfur? Lite it up!

    January 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeon

    Good for them! Personally, i could do without nasa and its planet searchers. We have enough problems on earth we should be fixing with all those billions wasted on scientific conspiracy. Starvation, homelessness, sicknesses, u name it. What is the importance of nasa in society?

    January 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • tiredofignorance

      Thank goodness someone said it. If our species could ever get their act together the big blue dot we live on might transform into an entirely new, more respectable rock. I don't see it happening before we all kill each other for power, money and/or religion, but I've always considered myself an optimist.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gas Guzzler

    Hey NASA really?seriously?how much did you spend? I submitted my plans to modify my 6000 sux back in the day for mere dollers.By now we could have verefied if Pluto is a planet and not a dog,saved Spock,confirm that string theory is just that a theory,travel fast enough to bring back a young William Shatner,terraformed the middlie east,change the name of ur@nus to your rectum and still be home in time for a x-tra crispy dinner

    January 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Yeah, for another trillion dollars NASA will find you not only a rocky planet, but one that might look like it's blue. And for a mere hundred billion more, tell you it could have a tinge of green.

    January 10, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    @Gas Guzzler...didn't the particle filament theory kinda blow the big-bang theory out of the water?

    January 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. leeintulsa

    Nasa got .6% of the budget, not much. Seems practical to me. More practical than getting everyone to stop driving cars and worldwide industry to stop making this world uninhabitable. I think we should be spending alot more.

    January 11, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gas Guzzler

    NO! water particles keep the big bang theory and our big ASS tires nice and cool on the greatest NHRA ! quarter miles of all time! Pamona and the legendary Irwendale quarter mile!dang I miss that strip. Bring your Pinto by when out here,will bring it up to speed and lunch at in and out burger on me..gotta go my heats coming up........

    January 11, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chig

    Eventually this planet will form into Tatooine and become a dune sea.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. LOW LYF

    RUFFNUTTS WARP DRIVE IS INSTALLED BACKWARDS IT DOESNT WORK IT MAKES YOU GROW HAIR AND MAKES YOUR FEET STINK

    January 11, 2011 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. mikey

    I have an idea lets send palin and all of congress to the new planet and they can live the way they want to and anyone who wants to go with them can go alsobut it is cool about this planet.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. mikey

    I am sorry for any misspelled words in my last post for i am tired and going to bed so good nite and enjoy your evening

    January 11, 2011 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    @Mikey: Good night? But it's morning.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
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