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Kepler discovers most Earth-like exoplanet

Posted on Friday, 18 April, 2014 | Comment icon 24 comments

Could Kepler-186f support life ? Image Credit: NASA
Astronomers have located an Earth-sized world within the 'Goldilocks zone' of a distant solar system.
One of the main goals of planet hunting has been to locate an Earth 2.0 - a planet of a similar size to our own that orbits its star at a distance that enables liquid water to exist on its surface.

Scientists this week announced that they have discovered what appears to be a planet that meets these criteria, a rocky Earth-sized world called Kepler-186f that sits right inside its star's habitable zone.

Unlike most exoplanet discoveries that tend to be worlds either too hot, too cold, too close or too distant from their parent star, this newly identified world seems to be just right. Astronomers are now hailing it as the single most promising candidate for an Earth-like planet elsewhere in the universe.

"We're always trying to look for Earth analogues, and that is an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone around a star very much the same as our Sun," said astronomer Stephen Kane.

"Some people call these habitable planets, which of course we have no idea if they are. We simply know that they are in the habitable zone, and that is the best place to start looking for habitable planets."

Source: Independent | Comments (24)

Tags: Earth, Extrasolar Planet

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by ancient astronaut on 18 April, 2014, 22:09
your take on this link, about our moon, and our evolution....just a speculation!! http://www.sciencein...13/issue26/moon I never said Humans. I said I didn't think that it was necessary for "life" to evolve, it was a good read though, I knew about the collision, didn't know about some of the other stuff.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Paranomali on 18 April, 2014, 23:21
Amazing discovery. I just wish we could take a closer look
Comment icon #17 Posted by FizzPuff on 19 April, 2014, 0:58
That's cool I wonder what it's like.
Comment icon #18 Posted by DONTEATUS on 19 April, 2014, 1:57
490 Light years ? I better Load up the "Nitro" And Stuff a Few extra B.B.Q sandwich`s !
Comment icon #19 Posted by LucidElement on 19 April, 2014, 4:24
Scientists say a world that's 490 light-years away qualifies as the first confirmed Earth-sized exoplanet that could sustain life as we know it but in an environment like nothing we've ever seen. The planet, known as Kepler-186f, is "more of an Earth cousin than an Earth twin," Elisa Quintana, an astronomer at the SETI Institute at NASA Ames Research Center, told the journal Science. Quintana is the lead author of a report on the planet published by Science this week. "This discovery does confirm that Earth-sized planets do exist in the habitable zones of other stars," Quintana said during a... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Frank Merton on 19 April, 2014, 6:57
Yea I think it is a bit much referring to it as an earth twin when it's sun is a red dwarf, and it therefore has a much smaller orbit and shorter year. The ones orbiting closer in are bound to be found first as it takes several orbits to make a confirmation. There are problems (not that they can't be rationalized, but the problems of almost anything can be rationalized) about saying a planet orbiting a red dwarf is a good candidate. The only example we have in our statistical base of actual live is a yellow dwarf (class G) and this is class M.
Comment icon #21 Posted by SecretAgentMathew on 21 April, 2014, 6:35
Amazing discovery. I just wish we could take a closer look I bet NASA already has, but I thank them for telling us about how it looks
Comment icon #22 Posted by cyclopes500 on 21 April, 2014, 13:19
Mankind has a habit of solving the different problems and various challenges life puts in front of him. If he has the technology to reach this star in a normal human lifespan he'll probably in time be able to move a planet. Therefore towing a body of the right size and composition to the right position would be an option. I mean what would happen on Venus if it got moved to Mars's orbit and you gave it a rotation? A lot i think. Next job dump the atmosphere and tap into Jupiter's. As for finding advanced life on moons of Jupiter sized worlds, that I'm not so sure about. If memory serves me rig... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by SecretAgentMathew on 21 April, 2014, 13:39
I know the US has the Nazis Vortex engine system in there space crafts already so I strongly believe they have most likely already explored that planet. This may seem outrageous but its true. Meanwhile society is 100 years behind in technology thanks to the US.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Likely Guy on 21 April, 2014, 21:18
I know the US has the Nazis Vortex engine system in there space crafts already so I strongly believe they have most likely already explored that planet. This may seem outrageous but its true. Meanwhile society is 100 years behind in technology thanks to the US. Do you have any sources to base that outrageous statement on?

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