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Duration:04:28
Uploaded:2014-04-24
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Caitlin Hofmeister gives you the latest news from around the universe, including Kepler's latest exoplanet discovery, an upcoming solar eclipse, and a breathtaking image from Hubble.

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Sources:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/uond-ade041714.php
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/sfsu-kad040814.php
http://www.nasa.gov/ames/kepler/nasas-kepler-discovers-first-earth-size-planet-in-the-habitable-zone-of-another-star/#.U1Q4VscUbTM
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140417-earth-planet-kepler-habitable-science-nasa/
http://www.space.com/25540-kepler-space-telescope-earth-twin-search.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2607803/Starstruck-Awe-inspiring-cross-section-cosmos-snapped-Hubble-reveals-thousands-galaxies-big-Milky-Way.html
http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1408/
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-04/17/hubble-universe-cross-section-photo

http://www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-current.html
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_April_29,_2014
I’m Caitlin Hofmeister. Welcome to SciShow Space News.

Let’s start by clearing up the gossip around an important discovery that was made last week. You might have heard that the Kepler space telescope captured evidence of an Earth-like exoplanet 500 light-years away. Well, Kepler did find something really important out there, but it was an Earth-sized planet, which is an important distinction and still exciting news. The planet, named Kepler-186f has a radius just 1.1 times the size of Earth's, and that’s a big deal because until now we’ve had a hard time spotting exoplanets of this size. Using a technique called the transit method, Kepler watched for the minute dimming that happens when a planet passes between us and its star, blocking out a tiny bit of its light. The smaller the planet the less light it blocks and the harder the dimming is to catch. That’s why most of the planets we’ve seen have been at least 40 times larger than Earth. But the discovery of Kepler-186f is heartening evidence that Earth-sized exoplanets are out there. The reason this world has been described as Earth-like is just because being around the same size as Earth means it’s likely to have some similar characteristics. For example, because of its size, astronomers think 186f might have gravitation similar to Earth's and they also say there’s a very excellent chance that is has a rocky surface and it also may have water. Like Earth, 186f is in the so called habitable zone of its star meaning it’s just the right distance from its star that water could exist there in a liquid state. But that’s not to say that we know there’s water there, let alone that it’s liquid. As we’ve talked about before, our own solar system proves that the habitable zone is just a vague indicator about the possibility of water. Venus, for instance, is in the Sun’s habitable zone but its atmosphere is too hot for liquid water. While on Mars, a weak magnetic field has allowed solar activity to strip away the atmosphere making it too cold for liquid water. Besides, Kepler-186f is different from Earth in one very important way – its star is different. Kepler-186 is a red dwarf which means it’s much older than our sun. On one hand, that could be promising because it means life would have had a much longer time to develop in its system. But on the other hand, it’s much smaller and cooler than our sun, so Kepler-186f probably only gets about 30% as much energy from it as we get from the Sun.

And speaking of the Sun, if you’re in eastern Australia, off the east coast of South Africa, or in Antarctica for some reason, you may get to see an annular solar eclipse on Monday. That means that for about half an hour the Moon will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun, and the Moon’s apparent diameter will be smaller than the Sun's. So when perfectly aligned, the Moon will block out all but a thin outer ring, or annulus, of the Sun. This ring will be visible beginning at around 5:48 coordinated universal time. That’d be 3:48pm in Melbourne and Sydney. Although the point of greatest eclipse will only be visible from Antarctica, so you should probably just go there. The next annular eclipse won’t occur until September 2016 so try to catch this one while you can. But remember, looking directly at the Sun will cause eye damage, so don’t try and observe the eclipse directly.

And finally, here’s something you can marvel at safely - this awesome image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Using an exposure about 14 hours long, the image allows us to see features about a billion times fainter than we can see with the unaided eye. And it also happens to capture a particularly excellent example of gravitational lensing which lets us see distant things that are otherwise hidden behind massive objects. See, massive galaxies in our line of sight have enough gravity to bend light around them, in the process, magnifying objects behind them much like a glass lens does. In this image, a cluster of galaxies that looks like a small loop in the middle is magnifying the light of a quasar as it’s falling into a black hole. And this image is nine billion light years away meaning gravitational lensing has allowed us to see back in time, through two-thirds the age of the universe. Even the galaxies we’re using as lenses are really distant. NASA says most of the objects you see here are five billion light-years away.

I hope that satisfies your curiosities for the week. Thanks for watching SciShow Space News, especially to our Subbable subscribers. If you want more SciShow for your very own, check out subbable.com/scishow to learn how you can get your own SciShow DVD with an extra behind the scenes featurette I put together for you. Little known fact, I produce SciShow and SciShow Space, so I read and take to heart all your comments. So please, tell me on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below if you have questions or ideas for an episode you’d like to see. You will always be heard, but I'll probably never wear more makeup. Thank you again for watching, and if you want to continue getting smarter with us and engage in meaningful scientific conversations, got to youtube.com/scishowspace and subscribe.