Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Editor's note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events.

Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice.

Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to, on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon.

The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Pages

NASA Discovers New Earth-Like Planets Around Distant Stars

Apr 18, 2013
Originally published on April 23, 2014 11:59 am

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered three new "habitable zone" planets that are close to Earth's size, even if they're not all that close to Earth.

NPR's Joe Palca reports, the trio of worlds is about 1,200 light years away and are thought to lie in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" — where it's not too hot and not too cold for liquid water.

Just as important, the planets' moderate size — less than twice the mass of Earth — bolsters the chances for life on them, scientists says.

So-called exoplanets that orbit other stars have become a fairly routine find since the first of them were discovered in 1992. But, as The Associated Press notes, "In the past ... they haven't fit all the criteria that would make them right for life. And until now, the handful of planets astronomers found in that ideal zone were just too big. Those are likely to be gas balls like Neptune and that's not suitable for life."

Two of the three detailed in the new findings published in the journal Science are of particular interest: Kepler-62-e and Kepler-62-f. William Borucki, the chief scientist for NASA's Kepler telescope, says the planets are slightly wider than Earth, but not too big. Kepler-62-e is a bit toasty, like a Hawaiian world, and Kepler-62-f is a bit nippy, more Alaskan, Borucki tells the AP.

"This is the first one where I'm thinking, 'Huh, Kepler-62-f really might have life on it,' " said study co-author David Charbonneau of Harvard. "This is a very important barrier that's been crossed. Why wouldn't it have life?"

Palca says the Kepler spacecraft detects planets orbiting distant stars by finding small dips in the light coming from those stars when an orbiting planet passes in front.

Update at 5:30 p.m. ET. Clarifying The Planets' Positions:

We initially wrote that all three newly discovered planets orbit the star Kepler-62. In fact, two orbit that star, and another one orbits the star Kepler-69.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.