There are a plethora of worlds out there, with 10 Earth twins among those. But there’s just one that demands our attention.
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that we’re probably not alone. Well, at least there are many worlds similar to ours, and that gives us hope that we will soon stumble upon intelligent life. But, in case we don’t, at least we will have other worlds to call our own.
Recently, NASA discovered even more of these worlds, 219 to be exact, which is added to the many other possibly habitable planets discovered in the past.
Among those 219 planets, 10 of them are of earth-like quality.
In this small stash of planets, we find one which stands out – KOI 7711.01. Only 30% larger than Earth, this planet has many other habitable qualities. For one, it is found within the zone where liquid water could exist or the so-called Goldilocks zone.
This is a major plus! At 1,700 light-years away, KOI 7711.01 orbits a star much like our own sun.
A member of the discovery team at the SETI Institute, Susan Thompson said,
“It gets approximately the same amount of heat that we get from our own star”.
Although this is quite a bit of knowledge concerning KOI 7711.01, there is still so much we don’t know. Of course, there is probably water on the planet, considering its proximity to the Goldilocks zone, but we still don’t know much about the atmosphere.
NASA’s Kepler telescope, in 2009, began its quest to find other planets like our own. As it started its orbit around the sun, Kepler monitored blips in brightness when far away planets crossed in front of their suns.
Recording the duration of this absence of light, scientists were able to determine how large the planets were and how far away they resided from their sun.
During this journey, Kepler found 50 rocky planets which could possibly hold water and sustain life. That’s 50 out of almost 4,000 assumptions.
No, that’s not much, but it’s quite a hand full of hopefuls, I would think. In this small group, Kepler discovered one planet that had the best qualities of the whole lot.
KOI 7711.01 was discovered by the NASA’s Kepler telescope during the discovery of over 2,000 other planets. This special planet was one of the 10 best selections existing within the habitable zone.
“Most of the planets found by Kepler are smaller than Neptune and Kepler really, truly has opened up our eyes to the existence of these small, terrestrial worlds.”
As scientists analyze and pick apart every detail about the remaining 50 hopeful planets, we wait to see just how many earthly twins will be included in the universal census.
After all, life flourishes out there somewhere.
Maybe we cannot see it yet, but odds are growing ever in its favor. It’s only a matter of time before we find that life or we colonize the universe. Either way, excitement is an understatement.