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Where life might live beyond Earth

Updated 1:27 PM ET, Wed April 24, 2013
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This diagram lines up planets recently discovered by Kepler in terms of their sizes, compared to Earth. Kepler-22b was announced in December 2011; the three Super-Earths were announced April 18, 2013. All of them could potentially host life, but we do not yet know anything definitive about their compositions or atmosphere. NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
This illustration depicts Kepler-62e, a planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun. It is located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
This illustration depicts Kepler 62f, a planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, in the same system as Kepler 62e. NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
This diagram compares the planets of our own inner solar system to Kepler-62, a five-planet system about 1,200 light-years from Earth. Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f are thought capable of hosting life. NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
The planet Kepler-69c is located about 2,700 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. This is an illustration of the planet, which is the smallest yet found to orbit in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
This diagram compares the planets of our own inner solar system to Kepler-69, which hosts a planet Kepler-69c that appears to be capable of hosting life, in addition to planet Kepler-69b. NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
This artist's illustration represents the variety of planets being detected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. C. Pulliam & D. Aguilar (CfA)