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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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PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team

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KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.

PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.

Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.

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