NASA’s Kepler space telescope team have identified 219 new planet candidates, ten of which could prove to be humanity’s next great hopes of life among the stars.  The exoplanets, planets which occupy space outside of our solar system, are all near-Earth size and occupy the habitable zones of their star systems where liquid water, the precursor for life, would pool

on the surface rather than freeze. The identified planets occupy the ‘goldilocks’ zone in orbit around their neighboring stars. The Kepler team’s findings were presented at a news conference Monday at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California and later published online. The catalog is the cumulation of Kepler’s first four years of operations and details a patch of sky in the Cygnus constellation. So far, Kepler has identified a total of 4,034 candidates, 2,335 of which have been officially verified as exoplanets. READ MORE