New Planet Discovered By NASA
A new planet has been found 600,000 light-years away by NASA's Kepler team. The planet, currently called Kepler-22b, is “the most Earth-like yet,” rotating around a yellow star similar to the sun, NASA said, ABC News reports.
The temperature of the planet’s surface is approximately 72 degrees, which indicates liquid water may be present.
The Kepler team considers the probability of life on the new planet and says that they have found no evidence to prove that humans are not alone.
From what they have seen, they know the planet’s host star is smaller and cooler than the sun, and they discovered that its light darkens once every 290 Earth days, The Associated Press reports. This indicates this planet is closer to its sun compared to the distance between Earth and our sun.
Based on the data the team has gathered, they have estimated the planet to be about 2.4 times the diameter of Earth, which makes it one of the smallest planets circling other stars.
"In less than 20 years, we have gone from not knowing if any other planets exist in the universe, to being able to look out at the night sky and realize that essentially any star we can see has at least one planet, and a good number of those are likely to be habitable," said Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution for Science, according to ABC News.