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Friday, 18 April 2014
New Earth Type Planet Discoverd - Earth 2 Kelper - 186f
From Metro News
A planet bearing strikingly similar characteristics to Earth and potentially capable of supporting life has been discovered in the Milky Way.
Dubbed ‘Earth 2.0’, Kepler-186f is the closest match to our own planet ever discovered and renews hopes that life in outer space may be a reality.
Slightly bigger and colder than Earth, the planet is said to be in the ‘Goldilocks zone’ because it sits at just the right distance from its star where temperatures allow water, and therefore potentially life, to exist.
‘Kepler-186f is the first validated, Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star,’ said Elisa Quintana of the SETI Institute and Nasa’s Ames Research Center.
‘It has the right size and is at the right distance to have properties similar to our home planet.’
Dr Quintana is the lead author of a scientific paper detailing the planet’s discovery, 500 light years from Earth, in this week’s issue of the Science journal.
The group of scientists have been keeping watch over 150,000 stars in the universe looking out for slight drops in brightness when a planet passed in front, according to theNew York Times.
Further analysis of the planet will now take place to determine whether indeed it does hold water.
Over 2,000 planets outside our ownsolarsystem have been found in the last 20 years but Kepler is particularly good news because the star it orbits is similar to 70 per cent of those in the Milky Way and therefore finding other similar planets is now a real possibility.