In March 2009, NASA launched the Kepler Space Telescope with a goal to find habitable planets within the Milky Way. This $600 million planet-hunting mission created a milestone on July 23, 2015, Thursday noon, when they announced the discovery of an alien planet with characteristics that are similar to Earth called Kepler452b.
Here are 6 things you need to know about this exoplanet.
#1) Located in the constellation Cygnus, Kepler452b is about 1,400 light-years away from Earth and is 60% bigger than Earth.
#2) It is orbiting a star much like our sun and it is located in its star’s habitable zone. This region is also known as “The Goldilock’s Zone,” where conditions are neither too hot nor too cold and where the existence of water is possible on its planetary surface.
#3) The gravity in this exoplanet is about twice of the Earth’s that could also be indicative that its surface could be rocky.
#4) According to Kepler researcher Jon Jenkins, Kepler452b “almost certainly has an atmosphere” and if the planetary geologists’ assumptions are correct, it would be thicker than Earth’s and the surface would also have active volcanoes. Its mass and composition is yet to be determined.
#5) Unlike Earth’s 365 calendar days a year, this planet takes 385 days to orbit its star.
#6) Kepler 452b’s star is 6 billion years old and is 1.5 billion years older than our sun.
Having learned all these, do you think we’re one step closer in finding other forms of life out there? Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below.