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Most Bizarre Space Discoveries So Far This Year

Liz Burlingame
Published: October 24, 2013

Alien Water Worlds

The artist's concept depicts Kepler-62f, a super-Earth planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. Image released April 18, 2013. (NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech)

Two recently discovered alien planets could be water worlds, with uninterrupted oceans that are teeming with life.

The existence of the distant exoplanets, called Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f, were unveiled during a NASA press conference last April. The two worlds are perhaps the most promising life-hosting candidates yet found beyond our solar system, the discoverers said. Computer models suggest both planets are water worlds, their surfaces covered by a global ocean with no land in sight. The oceans could theoretically support aquatic life forms.

The two worlds are 1.6 and 1.4 times bigger than Earth, and orbit in their star's habitable zone — the just-right range of distances that can support liquid water on a planet's surface.


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