Astronomers Discover Another Earth 'Kepler-186' in the Goldilocks Zone of Another Galaxy

'Kepler-186' in the Goldilocks Zone of Another Galaxy
Ever since humans discovered that there are other planets in space, we have become fascinated with alien life and the possibility of discovering life on another planet one day.

Many also dream that aliens might someday visit us – and proof of this are the countless movies depicting life in other planets.

Even scientists continue to probe for life across the universe, trying to discover whether there are planets that could potentially harbor life.

True enough, they found one! Known as Kepler-186f and dubbed as ‘another Earth’, this planet is roughly the same size as Earth and is located within the so-called ‘Goldilocks zone’ from the star it is orbiting, the red dwarf Kepler-186.

'Kepler-186' in the Goldilocks Zone

Photo credit: NASA Ames / SETI Institute / JPL-Caltech

Detected by NASA's Kepler space telescope, the planet is slightly larger than Earth as it has a radius that’s about 11% larger than that of Earth.

While details about the planet could only be deduced through calculations, it is believed that the planet might have a mass that could mean it is either a rocky terrestrial planet like the Earth or possibly an ocean planet with a thick atmosphere.

What scientists know is that the planet is within the habitable zone; though it is in the outer edge and is in a similar position with Mars from the Sun.

However, because this planetary system is located 582 light years away from the Earth, it is still too far for current Earth instruments to measure factors like its atmospheric characteristics, surface features and temperatures, and presence of gases.

'Kepler-186' in the Goldilocks Zone 2

Photo credit: NASA Ames / SETI Institute / JPL-Caltech

This means that though Kepler-186f is possibly a planet that people could call as the Earth’s ‘twin’, much remains unknown about it. Is the planet home to some life form?

Possible! But even the strongest telescopes and cameras of our time could not give a definitive answer. Still, its discovery proves that other Earth-like planets are out there, somewhere…

 

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