Did NASA find a second Earth?
The mysteries of the universe are still unravelling, and we are amazed by the discoveries scientists make everyday! It has come to light that the US space agency, NASA, may have come across a planet similar to earth.
Reanalyzed data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, being used by a team of scientists, has led to the discovery of an Earth-size exoplanet. What’s more is that the exoplanet has been found orbiting in the habitable zone of its star.
Habitable zone is that area around a star where a rocky planet can support liquid water.
The name is Kepler 1649c
Kepler-1649c is only 1.06 times the size of Earth. Moreover, the amount of light the exoplanet receives from its star is about 75% of the amount of light Earth receives from the Sun, indicating a temperature similar to that of ours.
The exoplanet is about 300 light years away from the Earth and is the most similar to our planet in size and temperature out of all the planets identified using Kepler.
It was found earlier
The planet, being called Kepler-1649c, was discovered by the team when they were looking through the data of previous observations from the Kepler telescope, which had been retired by NASA in 2018.
NASA is also looking at the discovery with excitement due to the fact that while Kepler-1649c in itself is similar to Earth in size and temperature, it also provides its system a whole new view. In their system, for every nine times that the outer planet orbits the host star, the inner planet revolves around the star almost exactly four times, which means that their system is extremely stable and is likely to last for long.
NASA has missed it earlier
The Kepler telescope had been retired in 2018, and had actually stopped collecting data from space in 2013.
NASA said that the planetary body had previously been misidentified while being searched by a computer algorithm— named Robovetter— this team of researchers took a second look and identified it as a planet.
It was when this group was rechecking the system that it found that Kepler-1649c was in fact one of the errors made by Robovetter.
We may not be able to live on this exoplanet but this discovery gave NASA hope of a second Earth lying among the stars, “waiting to be found”.