Kepler 452b: The Second Earth
The United States Space Agency, NASA, announced the discovery of a planet that is considered the "closest cousin to Earth." - The Whole World on July 23, 2015. That was the news of the year. Today I want to talk to you about the second Earth, Kepler, a future house if you don't care about techno-transportation limitations.
It is Kepler-452b, and it is the first planet with a similar size to Earth - only 60% larger - and it is located in a habitable star very similar to our Sun.
At the beginning of 2014, NASA had announced the discovery of more than 700 celestial bodies outside the Solar System thanks to the valuable information provided by the powerful Kepler space telescope.
The discovery of this new planet is part of the sighting of 11 other small celestial bodies in habitable zones of solar systems, which means that they can host life.
Kepler-452b is the most Earth-like candidate discovered to date and shows intriguing similarities, including that it rotates about the same distance as our planet does around the Sun.
"This means that it has the potential to have water in a liquid state."
1,400 light-years away. However, confirming that it has vital ingredients to support life is a complicated issue since it is located in the constellation Cygnus some 1,400 light-years away. NASA chief scientist John Grunsfeld called this new world the "closest yet" to Earth.
John Jenkins, a Kepler telescope data analyst at the Ames Research Center in California, added that "it is a real privilege to release this news today. There is a new kid on the block who just moved in near our home".
The new world joins other exoplanets like Kepler-186f with similar characteristics to Earth.
However, Kepler-186f, discovered in 2014, is smaller and orbits a red dwarf star that is significantly cooler than the Sun.
Kepler-452b orbits a star with the same class as ours, only 4% more massive and 10% brighter. The most intriguing thing is that it takes Kepler-452b 385 days to go around its star completely, that is, just 5% more than the time it takes for the Earth.
This new exoplanet is one of 500 recent sightings made by the Kepler telescope.
But Kepler-452b is the first to be confirmed as a planet.
Suzanne Aigrain of the University of Oxford, who was involved in studying the new planet, told the BBC that she believes that "the properties described on Kepler-452b are the most Earth-like for a planet confirmed to date".