Today, NASA announced that scientists have found an Earth-like planet, Kepler-452b about 1,400 light years away from us. This new Earth-twin exists at such a distance from a star Kepler 452, where water could exist. This discovery (and more) is a result of about analysis of four years’ data from the Kepler Space Telescope which has been looking for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars similar to our Sun.
This Earth-like planet, or what people are calling Earth 2.0, orbits its star in a habitable zone i.e. a region where water could exist in liquid state. During its four year work, Kepler Space Telescope found about 500 exoplanets, out of which 12 are of size comparable to the Earth. This Earth-like planet receives about 10 percent more light than Earth currently does and in another 1.5 billion years, Earth will receive the same amount of sunlight. This means, Kepler-452b is Earth’s older cousin.
Kepler-452b is the first one to be confirmed as a planets and its star possesses an interesting similarity to our Sun. It is just 12 percent brighter than our Sun and four percent heavier. This Earth-like planet Kepler-452b orbits at about same distance as Earth, taking about 385 days to complete one full revolution.
Let’s take a quick look at what we know about the Earth 2.0 so far:
It is about 60% larger than Earth 1.0 and the closest exoplanet so far. It is at a distance of 1,400 light years from Earth. It is rocky, thus confirming a sold surface. It orbits its very own star named Kepler 452 at a distance near-about same as Earth’s orbital distance. It completes one revolution is every 385 days. Earth 2.0’s star is about 6 billion years old i.e. about 1.5 billion years older than our Sun. During the long-awaited announcement, NASA said that it right now they don’t know if there’s life on Kepler-452b. The Kepler data analysis head said:
“It’s simply awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star, which is long than the age of the Earth. That’s considerable time and opportunity for life to arise somewhere on the surface … should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life on this planet [exist].”