The discovery of an Earth-like planet has been confirmed. Kepler-22b, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is about 2.4 times the radius or Earth and is located 600 light-years away in what has been described as a “habitable zone”, which allows liquid water to exist on a planet’s surface.
What does Kepler-22b looks like?
Although scientist do not yet know if the planet has a rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, they think it is possible it could have clouds in its atmosphere. Take a look at an artist’s conception:
The Telegraph reports this newfound planet has been identified as potential future home for mankind. On a more unadventurous note, Kerry Sheridan (AFP) explains what this discovery confirmation actually means:
Confirmation means that astronomers have seen it crossing in front of its star three times. But it doesn’t mean that astronomers know whether life actually exists there, simply that the conditions are right. Kerry Sheridan.
Earlier this year, the discovery of another exoplanet was announced: Gliese 581d. This planet however is closer to Earth (20 light-years).
Kepler is NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size and smaller planets around other stars. The mission has found 2,326 planet candidates and 28 confirmed planets so far.
December 6th, 2011.
About Johannes Kepler:
He was born on December 27th, 1571 in Weil der Stadt (now Stuttgart). He studied Mathematics, Astronomy and Astrology. He was a sickly child and his parents were poor so you might say he was kind of a geek. He was the first scientist to correctly explain planetary motion, thereby, becoming founder of celestial mechanics and the first “natural laws” in the modern sense; being universal, verifiable, and precise. He’s best known for his laws of planetary motion.