Astronomers have located a planet and star that are extra much like Earth and the sun than any pair discovered earlier. Located around 3000 light-years away, the star Kepler-160 and its orbiting planet KOI-456.04 are close enough collectively that there may even be liquid water on the planet’s floor.
The discovery was made by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, investigating a star first noticed by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. Research carried out in 2010 instructed that Kepler-160 may have two exoplanets orbiting around it. Now, the researchers imagine that the star actually hosts three and even 4 exoplanets, together with the Earth-like KOI-456.04.
Most exoplanets found to date are larger than Earth, at around 4 times its size or roughly the identical dimension as Neptune, they usually orbit comparatively near their stars. But often, astronomers spot a probably rocky planet across the dimension of the Earth. These are sometimes orbiting pink dwarf stars, nonetheless, which solely give off faint radiation, making the planet uninhabitable.
What makes KOI-456.04 particular is just not solely the very fact it’s comparably sized to Earth, at lower than twice its dimension, but in addition that its star is much like our solar and that it orbits at a nearly similar distance as Earth does. This means it may probably be a suitable temperature to have liquid water on its floor.
Even if KOI-456.04 has been to host liquid water though, don’t plan on shifting there simply yet. Other elements go into habitability, reminiscent of whether or not the planet has an environment, which may have a profound impact on its floor temperatures. However, the potential for the planet remains to be spectacular.
“The surface conditions on KOI-456.04 could be similar to those known on Earth, provided its atmosphere is not too massive and non-Earth-like,” the MPS wrote in a statement.
“The amount of light received from its host star is about 93% of the sunlight received on Earth. If KOI-456.04 has a mostly inert atmosphere with a mild Earth-like greenhouse effect, then its surface temperature would be +5 degrees Celsius on average, which is about ten degrees lower than the Earth’s mean global temperature.”