NASA has revealed a planet much like Earth has been discovered just 500 light years away. The planet, named Kepler-186f, was discovered through a powerful telescope. It orbits a star in the constellation of Cygnus.
The term “goldilocks zone” is used to reference planets that orbit within a certain distance of a star and have the right atmospheric pressure to support surface water. While there are thought to be around 40 billion of these planets within the Milky Way galaxy, Kepler-186f is the first planet the size of Earth to be in a goldilocks zone.
Aside from Kepler-186f, there are four other planets orbiting in the area around the star. If that star is like the sun, there is a higher potential of Kepler-186f being able to support life. The star is approximately one-half the size of the sun and the new planet only gets one-third of the energy the Earth receives from the sun. In addition, Kepler-186f completes its orbit in only 130 days, making seasons much different from Earth.
NASA’s Ames Research Center scientist, Elisa Quintana, said the when looking for life in other parts of the galaxy, the focus is on planets that are like Earth and discovering a planet like Kepler-186f is a large step forward for the human race.