Elisa V. Quintana of the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., reported that Kepler 186f, a planet that's a tad bigger and a touch colder than our own home planet, was found in the habitable zone of another star, about 500 light-years away.
With its smaller size, Kepler 186f is more likely to have an Earth-like rocky surface, another step in astronomers’ quest for what might be called Earth 2.0.
“It’s a progression,” said another member of the discovery team, Thomas S. Barclay of the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute. “This planet really reminds us of Earth.”
The researchers speculate that it is made of the same stuff as Earth — iron, rock, ice, liquid water, although the relative amounts could be very different.
The gravity on Kepler 186f, too, is likely to be roughly the same as Earth’s. “You could far more easily imagine someone being able to go there and walk around on the surface,” Stephen Kane, an astronomer at San Francisco State University and another member of the research team, said in an interview.
|Frozen Urine Killed the MIR Space Station|
|"The effects of an impact, even a comet or asteroid of a modest size, would be devastating."|
|Zoomable Poster on 50 Years of Space Exploration|
|What the Sun Looks Like in Different Wavelengths|
|The Solar System, to Scale, in the Nevada Desert|
|"There needs to be more aggressive enforcement action on tech companies like Google."|
|“Not a single personal insult was uttered by any member of the crew.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|"Cells have the capacity to process and respond to instructions and codes inputted into their main system."|
|“Clicking on a Facebook advert may reveal things about yourself you don’t want anyone to know.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“Instead of consuming fossil fuels, it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.”|