Kepler, Nasa’s space telescope has made an announcement that it has discovered 219 new suspected candidates beyond our solar system. Among these 219 discovered planets, majority of them don’t have promising environment and climatic conditions to survive. However, 10 among them might be of Earth size having same temperature and holding life as that of Earth. NASA’s telescope was launched in 2009 and is successful in achieving its mission. But this does not stop it from obtaining more interesting facts of the space outside our solar system. These 10 exist within the “Goldilocks zone” that would allow liquid water might exist which can give birth to life.
These 10 bodies are neither too close to their star, and therefore very hot, nor too far away and too cold for liquid water to exist, says one of the researcher. Susan Thompson, a research scientist at the SETI Institute said, “This carefully measured catalogue gave an idea to answer astronomy’s most convincing questions, how many planets like our Earth are in the galaxy?”
NASA stated, “During the four-year mission, Kepler has identified 4,034 planet candidates, out of which, 2,335 are proved as exoplanets. Of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified. Additionally, data obtained by Kepler suggest the two distinct size groupings of small planets. Both results have significant implications for the search for life.”
A Kepler programme scientist at NASA, Mario Perez said, “The Kepler data set is unique. It’s the only telescope that gives the idea of planet’s having size and orbit same as that of Earth.” “Identifying and understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help scientists to design future Nasa missions to directly image another Earth”, he continued. The ultimate goal of the researchers would be to sort out these life-supporting planets that would potentially confirm extraterrestrial life in future.