1. SIZE MATTERS

    NASA Finds ‘Mega-Earth’

    An artist's composite of the Kepler telescope is seen in this undated NASA handout image. Two of Kepler's four gyroscope-like reaction wheels, which are used to precisely point the spacecraft, have failed and NASA reported on August 15, 2013, that it is ending attempts to fully recover the spacecraft.  REUTERS/NASA/Handout via Reuters  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTX12MWV

    NASA/Reuters

    Scientists announced Monday that NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has spied an exoplanet that is 17 times larger than Earth. Kepler-10c has been described as a “Mega-Earth” because it is even too gargantuan to fit into the category of “Super-Earths,” which are about 10 times the size of Earth. Scientists didn’t even think an Earth-like planet this big could exist because it was believed that planets 10 times the mass of Earth would hold on to so much hydrogen gas they would become like Saturn or Jupiter. But Kepler-10c is a rocky, dense planet not enveloped in gas. This discovery suggests there is plenty of room for life to exist on other plus-sized planets.

    Read it at The Washington Post