Second Earth? NASA's Kepler telescope discovers habitable exoplanet

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Second Earth spotted
Second Earth spotted

New Delhi : Looks like the scientists have spotted a second earth. Re analysis of data provided by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has led to a discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet in the space. The exoplanet has been found orbiting in the habitable zone of its star, the space agency said in a press release.

The habitable zones are the areas around a star where a rocky planet can support liquid water, the agency further explained.

The exoplanet has been spotted around 300-light years away from our planet. NASA mentioned that it is almost the same size of the Earth and the temperatures also look similar.

The exoplanet has been tagged as Kepler-1649c. It has been discovered by a team of scientists who were re analyzing the data collected by Keplet telescope, which was retired from its services back in 2018.

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 scientists are more curious about the exoplanet as it comes from a stable system like our solar system.

Why did Kepler-1649c come to light now?

The Kepler telescope had been retired in 2018, and had actually stopped collecting data from space in 2013. Therefore, we are left wondering how the exoplanet’s existence came to the fore now.

The agency explained in the statement that the planetary body had previously been misidentified while being searched by a computer algorithm, this team of researchers took a second look and identified it as a planet.

Talking about the discovery, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen was quoted in the statement as saying that the discovery has given them hope of a second Earth lying among the stars, “waiting to be found”.