Zandamesh writes: NASA's Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-size planets orbiting a sun-like star outside our solar system. The planets, called Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, are too close to their star to be in the so-called habitable zone where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface, but they are the smallest exoplanets ever confirmed around a star like our sun.
The discovery marks the next important milestone in the ultimate search for planets like Earth. The new planets are thought to be rocky. Kepler-20e is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring 0.87 times the radius of Earth. Kepler-20f is slightly larger than Earth, measuring 1.03 times its radius. Both planets reside in a five-planet system called Kepler-20, approximately 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.
Zandamesh writes: On earth, nuclear reactors are under attack because of concerns over damage caused by natural disasters. In space, however, nuclear technology may get a new lease on life.
Plans for the first nuclear power plant for the production of electricity for manned or unmanned bases on the Moon, Mars and other planets were unveiled today at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).