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Scientists discover Earth and Sun’s mirror image

Date: 08 June 2020 Tags: Space

Issue

Astronomers believe they've discovered an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star, about 3,000 light-years away.

 

Background

The 'KOI-456.04', which is less than twice the Earth's size, orbits 'Kepler-160' at a distance similar to that between Earth and Sun and within the habitable zone.

 

Details

  • The amount and type of light that 'KOI-456.04' receives from its star is similar to what Earth gets.

  • The Earth-like exoplanet is one of the worlds orbiting the star Kepler-160, which is about 3,000 lightyears from our star system.

  • Unlike most of the stars that host roughly-Earth-sized exoplanets, scientists learned that Kepler-160 gives off light in the visible spectrum rather than infrared light — a crucial aspect, they believe, of being habitable.

  • Space telescopes such as CoRoT, Kepler, and TESS have allowed scientists the discovery of about 4000 extrasolar planets (planets around distant stars) within the past 14 years.

  • Most of these planets are the size of the gas giant planet Neptune, about four times the size of the Earth, and in relatively close orbits around their respective host stars.

  • But scientists have also discovered some exoplanets as small as the Earth that could potentially be rocky.

  • And a handful of these small planets are also at the right distance to their host star to potentially have moderate surface temperatures for the presence of liquid surface water – the essential ingredient for life on Earth.

  • Kepler-160 has been known for about six years to be a host star of two exoplanets, called Kepler-160b and Kepler-160c. Both of these planets are substantially bigger than Earth and in relatively close orbits around their star. 

  • Light from Kepler-160 is visible light very much like sunlight. All things considered, KOI-456.04 sits in a region of the stellar habitable zone.

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