NASA’s Kepler Space Observatory has discovered the best candidates yet for near earth-sized planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun in an orbit within the “habitable zone.” Science in our day is verifying God’s proclamation to Moses that “worlds without number have I created.” (Moses 1:33)

The Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009 and its mission is to determine how many of the billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy have planets that could sustain life. It compares the light from distant stars looking for planets that pass in front of their star and cause tiny changes in the star’s brightness-like playing planetary peekaboo. The latest discoveries around a star called Kepler-62 may be the best planets yet that might support life. The discovery is being reported in the May 4, 2013 issue of ScienceNews.

“Two planets slightly larger than Earth have been found by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. The planets circle their star at a distance seemingly just right for life. Detailed in research published April 18 in Science, the two planets are likely the first of many that, at least from a distance, look a whole lot like home.”

1 - KeplerThe Kepler Space Observatory monitors light from distant stars to detect planets transiting in front of the star.

“Kepler’s latest discovery is a five-planet system around a star called Kepler-62, some 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Lyra. Astronomers found the planets by analyzing nearly three years’ worth of data. The inner three worlds are too hot for life, but planets Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f are far more accommodating. They are 1.6 and 1.4 times the diameter of Earth, respectively, and their orbits are within the boundaries of the habitable zone in which scientists think liquid water could exist.”

2 - Kepler-62The star system Kepler-62 compared with our own solar system.

As the Lord began the great vision to Moses about the creation of this earth that resulted in our modern book of Genesis, He gave Moses a quick glimpse of other worlds that He has created. “And [Moses] beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.” The Lord then proclaimed that “by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. … There are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.” (Moses 1:29, 32-33)

The explosion of knowledge in our day embodied in advanced astronomy and space technology is needed for these studies now being reported. These discoveries are a powerful witness of the truth of the scriptures regarding these “worlds without number,” innumerable unto man but “numbered unto God.”

3 - KeplerHere is the small patch of sky that Kepler constantly monitors in the constellation Lyra.

 

Additional Notes:

Andrew Grant, “Most earthlike planets yet seen bring Kepler closer to its holy grail,” ScienceNews.org, May 4, 2013 Issue

NASA’s Kepler Space Observatory Mission

Nadia Drake, “Planetary Peekaboo,” ScienceNews.org, September 22, 2012,

“Kepler finds Earthly cousins by engaging in a staring contest with a patch of sky stuffed with more than 150,000 stars. The spacecraft watches for blinks occurring when a planet dims a star’s light by passing in front of it, or transiting. A planet in an Earthlike orbit would dim its star just once each Earth year – and scientists look for multiple dimming events, requiring years of observing time. ‘We can’t look away, because we might miss one of the transits,’ [said] Nick Gautier of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.”

Kepler Spacecraft,” Wikipedia.org, retrieved May 5, 2013,