Scientists discovers new planet twice the size of Earth, likely to find liquid water

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : A thorough study of data from NASA's Kepler space telescope has led scientists to discover a new planet that is twice as large as Earth. The newly discovered planet is within a zone that could allow liquid water to exist on its surface. 

It's worth remembering that NASA's Kepler space telescope died after it ran out of fuel in October 2018. 

Dubbed as K2-288Bb, the new planet is located within its star's habitable zone, which is why liquid water is a possibility. Its size is unusual for an exo-planet. Few planets that orbit close to their stars are more than 1.5 times as large as Earth, yet K2-288Bb is estimated to be roughly 1.9 times the size of our planet.

"It's a very exciting discovery due to how it was found, its temperate orbit and because planets of this size seem to be relatively uncommon," University of Chicago graduate student Adina Feinstein, the lead author of a paper on the discovery, said in a NASA news release."

NASA scientists say that the newly discovered plant is half the size of Neptune and could be gas-rich, though it's possible that it's rocky instead. K2-288Bb is located in the Taurus constellation and is about 226 light-years away. The earth-like planet orbits the smaller of two cool stars in the stellar system called K2-288. These stars are about 5.1 billion miles apart, and the dimmer one is one-third as massive as the sun. NASA said the brighter star is half the size of the sun.