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Kepler space telescope finds its first extrasolar planets

Mission uncovers one Neptune-like and four Jupiter-like bodies

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8:14am, January 4, 2010

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler mission is off to a precocious start. The first six weeks of observations recorded by the spacefaring telescope, combined with follow-up studies from the ground, have revealed five previously unknown extrasolar planets—one body roughly the size of Neptune and four low-density versions of Jupiter. All reside within roasting distance of their parent stars.

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