All of these newly discovered planets might be possibly habitable worlds. That’s because they all orbit within the habitable zone around their star.
The Kepler space telescope has made an absolutely incredible number of discoveries. The telescope is hunting for more than eight years.
A group of international researchers made the discoveries, using data from the Kepler space telescope. This work is presented in a new research paper.
Further data confirms these 20 exoplanets might be the most promising yet.
A study says that the Kepler spacecraft’s observations show one out of every five sun-like stars sporting an Earth-like planet within the star’s “habitable zone”. The habitable zone is the range of orbits around a star, whose distance indicates the potential for liquid water to exist.
However, scientists still need to confirm these planets as habitable. It will require additional research and observation, but they are significantly promising.
One of the planets specifically, named KOI-7923.01, orbits its star in much the same way as Earth orbits the Sun. Its star is similar to our own but cooler. A year on this planet is 395 Earth days, very, very close to a year on our planet. The planet might actually be a frosty, rocky world, because of its positioning, but still warm enough for life to exist.
So, basically, this candidate is the most likely to have liquid water and support significant life-forms.
Jeff Coughlin, a Kepler team lead who helped to find these planets, says that the Hubble Space Telescope, in a few years, will help them to confirm what they currently suspect.
Astronomers have found other promising planets within habitable zones. However, these candidates could be the most interesting ones, and we will surely keep our telescopes in their direction.
Thumbnail Image: Artist’s impression of a livable, green world. Credit: Ernie Mastroianni/Nienora/Shutterstock/Nasa