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Kepler-62f may be a good prospect for a habitable world

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WASHINGTON — A planet, about 1,200 light-years from Earth and in all probabilities has surface liquid water, is a good prospect for a habitable world, reports researchers from University of California, Los Angeles.

Named Kepler-62f, the planet is roughly 40 percent bigger than Earth. “It is within the range of planets that are likely to be rocky and possibly could have oceans,” said Aomawa Shields, lead author and a astrophysics postdoctoral fellow.

NASA’s Kepler mission discovered the planetary system that includes Kepler-62f in 2013 and identified it as the outermost of five planets orbiting a star that is smaller and cooler than the Sun. “We found there are multiple atmospheric compositions that allow it to be warm enough to have surface liquid water. This makes it a strong candidate for a habitable planet,” added Shields.

On Earth, carbon dioxide makes up 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere. Because Kepler-62f is much farther away from its star than Earth is from the Sun, it would need more carbon dioxide to be warm enough to maintain liquid water on its surface, and to keep from freezing.

The team ran computer simulations and found many scenarios that allow it to be habitable, assuming different amounts of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere.

Shields said that for the planet to be consistently habitable throughout its entire year, it would require an atmosphere that is three to five times thicker than Earth’s and composed entirely of carbon dioxide. The research was published online in the journal Astrobiology.

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2 injured as bomb goes off at Ward Chair’s house

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DAMAK — An unidentified group detonated a bomb at the house of Bhim Poudel, a Ward Chairperson of the Damak Municipality Ward Number 7, last night, injuring two people including a woman.

The injured were hit by shrapnel due to the explosion. The explosion has also caused minor damages to the house which is located some 500 metres to the east of the Area Police Office, Damak.

It was a powerful explosion and it is not known who carried it out, police said.

Those injured in the incident are Semu Rai and Tilochan Pokhrel who had come to visit their relatives at the house next to Poudel’s house.

Both them who have been wounded in the hands and legs are being treated at the Lifeline Hospital in Damak. Rai is a staff at the same hospital.

Police has started an investigation into the case. Meanwhile, the Nepal Communist Party led by Netra Bikram Chand (Biplav) has today issued a press release saying those playing main role in evicting the landless squatters in the disputed market area in Damak. It had specifically named Wrad Chair Poudel and Mayor Romnath Oli.

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