Astronomers evaluating data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft have discovered two Saturn-sized gas giants orbiting a star in the first application of a technique that may help them find habitable Earthlike planets. Designated Kepler 9b and 9c, the two planets are orbiting the Kepler 9 star at a distance closer than the planet Mercury orbits the Sun. Data suggest there may be a smaller “super Earth” skimming just above the star, which lies about 2,000 light years from Earth, but it remains to ...

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