NASA's Kepler spacecraft discovers eight new planets in the habitable zone
The search for Earth-like planets has moved a step further with astronomers discovering eight new planets orbiting in the habitable zone called “Goldilocks zone” of their host stars.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The search for Earth-like planets has moved a step further with astronomers discovering eight new planets orbiting in the habitable zone called “Goldilocks zone” of their host stars.
Goldilocks zone here refers to a region which has immense sunlight.
The discovery of the eight new planets has been made by astronomers at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, (CfA). According to them, two out of eight planets are most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets to date.
Lead author Guillermo Torres of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was quoted as saying: “Most of these planets have a good chance of being rocky, like Earth”.
Astronomers using the NASA's Kepler space telescope has spotted all the eight planets. The findings were revealed at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
While it is intriguing to consider the possibility of life existing on another planet like ours, the discovery of two planets Kepler-438b and Kepler-442b is certainly an advancement to find signs of possible life in the universe
Kepler-438b is circling its star at a distance of 470 light years from Earth. The other, Kepler-442b, is 1,100 light years away.
Kepler-438b has a diameter that is 12 percent bigger than Earth, and maintains a 70 percent chance of being rocky, researchers said.
Kepler-442b is about a third larger than Earth, and experts say there is a three in five chance it is a rocky planet.
“We don't know for sure whether any of the planets in our sample are truly habitable,” second author David Kipping of the CfA said in a release.
“All we can say is that they're promising candidates”.
(With Agencies inputs)