Exciting news had been released from Nasa this week: a new planet called Kepler 22B had been discovered. The exciting part is that scientists claim that the planet has many earth-like characteristics and the planet is within what scientists call “the habitable zone” (meaning it’s in such a distance from energy sources that allow a proper life supporting atmosphere to exist).
Kepler 22B is named after the discovery maker – the NASA “Kepler” spacecraft. The planet was discovered 600 light years away from earth and is the first planet the starcraft discovered so far.
Scientists are excited as the new planet seems to be what they call an “earth twin” and they claim that it might support life forms. The planet has a radius which is 2.4 times bigger than earth and a ground temperature of aboutÂ 72 degrees Fahrenheit .
Scientists use the Kepler spacecraft to discover planets by analyzing extremely faint amounts of light flashes Â from remote stars. These light flashes take place when the planet passes between the Kepler starcraft and the planet’s sun, therefore obstructing the star’s light. As it’s a rare and slow process – it took scientists almost 3 “earth years” to confirm the new planet’s existence.
It will take many years to really know what is on the new planet but it is still very exciting to know that earth like planets are out there. Imagination goes wild trying to think of what life forms might live there and how the planet looks like in real life.
For now – it’s far beyond our physical reach (600 light years is too far to travel with current technology) but let’s hope that some day we will develop a quicker transport way to reach there and explore the new planet.