NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope captures the vision of another Earth.


Are you bored living on the same planet for your entire life? NASA has found the solution for you guys – Kepler-186f. It is only 2,939,249,910,000,000 miles from us. Just kidding ;-), but the discovery isn’t a joke.

In the Goldilocks region of our galaxy, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope found an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. Nearly 500 light-years away from Earth, in the Cygnus constellation, is Kepler-186f. (The region surrounding a star where planetary-mass objects with sufficient atmospheric pressure may support liquid water on their surfaces is known as the habitable or Goldilocks zone.)

According to estimations, there might be at least 40 billion Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way Galaxy. Yet, this discovery is the first of its kind to be located near a star’s habitable zone.

The Kepler-186f system contains Kepler-186f and four additional planets that orbit a neighbouring star. So we can conclude that the probability of life on Kepler-186f exponentially rises if the star that orbits it is similar to our Sun.

Elisa Quintana is the lead author of the paper published in the journal Science; she also works as a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Centre (SETI Institute) located at Moffett Field, Calif. She added her ideas on the discovery; that Earth is the only planet we know where life exists. Yet while searching for extraterrestrial life, scientists mainly focus on finding planets resembling the Earth. In such an atmosphere significant advance is the discovery of a planet in the habitable zone, roughly the size of Earth.

Kepler-186f’s nearby star only receives one-third of the energy that our Sun provides while having half the mass and size of our Sun. One rotation of Kepler-186f’s star occurs every 130 days.

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