Earth-like exoplanet Kepler 452b discovered

Jul 24, 2015 17:18 IST

Earth-like exoplanet Kepler 452b was discovered by Kepler Mission. The discovery of it was made public during the NASA press conference on 23 July 2015. It resides in a year-long orbit in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star in the constellation of Cygnus some 1400 light-years away.

The planet is a near-twin of Earth orbiting Sunlike Star and is estimated to 1.6 times (60 percent) larger than Earth.

It is likely rocky and could have a mass of anywhere between one to five times that of our own planet.

In addition to Kepler 452b, the Kepler Mission also discovered 11 yet-to-be-confirmed candidate planets that appear to be small, rocky and potentially suitable for life.

One of them, presently known only as KOI-7235.01, looks to be only 15 percent larger than Earth, and orbits right in the middle of its star’s habitable zone. If confirmed, it would surpass even Kepler 452 b to become the most Earth-like world astronomers have ever found beyond our solar system.

Since 2009, NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered more than 4500 confirmed and candidate worlds, in the process reshaping our entire view of the prospects for life in the universe.

And yet despite all these revolutionary results, Kepler’s most sought-after quarry—a mirror Earth around another sunlike star—has proved elusive. This discovery seems to mark the end of a long road.

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