Meet Earth 2.0: Our closest twin so far
You may call it our “older cousin” or “closest twin”, Nasa scientists have lifted the curtain on Kepler 452b.
This being the most Earth-like planet ever discovered, is called Earth 2.0. The discovery was confirmed based upon four years’ data gathered by Kepler space telescope.
Here are 11 interesting facts about this habitable exoplanet that would make you believe why we are not alone in this universe, and why Stephen Hawking may not be wrong when he stresses upon the existence of aliens that would one day find us and overpower us:
What makes it most interesting is, from its size and length of its years to the probable conditions on the surface—everything is nearly similar to Earth.
It orbits a star, Kepler 452, similar to our Sun. It takes 385 days to orbit its star, which is only 20 days longer than a year’s time here.
It is 1.5 billion years older, has 5 times the mass of Earth and has a gravity about twice as powerful as ours.
It is slightly warmer than our planet. It has possibly the right temperature to play host to liquid water on the surface, which is the key to existence of life.
According to astronomy expert Daniel Brown, as it receives the same kind of spectrum and intensity of light as we do here, you could possibly get a healthy tan too.
The added light and the heat energy that the planet receives hints at the possibility of plant life. And as the sunshine is very similar to what we get from our star, photosynthesis is possible too.
And as plant photosynthesis releases the air that we breathe, it again shows there is a fair chance of living here. According to Nasa scientist Jon Jenkins, It would feel a lot like home!
It is assumed to be rocky. Presence of active volcanoes and thicker atmosphere with greater cloud cover are also expected.
Scientists say, the newfound planet is now going through the phase which Earth is likely experience more than a billion years from now.
They believe its aging Sun might be heating the surface and evaporating oceans, if any. While Kepler 452b receives 10 % more energy than the Earth, the fact provides a window to Earth’s burning and waterless future.
But let’s come to reality. At 1,400 light years away, it is at a distance that will outdo even our superfast spacecrafts.
This discovery certainly fuels the universal debate, are we alone in the Universe? And, where are we heading as human beings ?
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