NASA Finds 'Earth's Larger, Older Cousin

NASA said that its Kepler spacecraft has spotted "Earth's larger, older cousin": the 1st nearly Earth-size planet to be discover in the habitable zone of a star similar to our own. Though NASA can't say for definite whether the planet is rocky like ours or has water and air, it's the closest match yet discover.
The planet, Kepler-452b, is about 1,400 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. It's about 60% bigger than Earth, NASA says, and is placed in its star's habitable zone -- the region where life-sustaining liquid water is likely on the surface of a planet.
 A visitor there would skill gravity about twice that of Earth's, and planetary scientists say the odds of it having a rocky surface are "improved than even." While it's a bit farther from its star than Earth is from the sun, its star is brighter, so the planet gets about the same quantity of energy from its star as Earth does from the sun. And that sunshine would be extremely similar to Earth's, Jenkins said.
The planet "roughly certainly has an atmosphere," Jenkins said, though scientists can't say what it's complete of. But if the assumptions of planetary geologists are right, he said, Kepler-452b's atmosphere would almost certainly be thicker than Earth's, and it would have active volcanoes.
It takes 385 days for the planet to orbit its star, very similar to Earth's 365-day year, NASA supposed. And because it's spent so extended orbiting in this zone -- 6 billion years -- it's had plenty of time to brew life, Jenkins said.
    "That's substantial chance for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and situation for life exist on this planet," he said in a report.
Before the finding of this planet, one called Kepler-186f was considered the majority Earth-like, according to NASA. That planet, no extra than a 10th bigger than Earth, is about 500 light-years away from us. But it gets simply about a third of the energy from its star as Earth does from the sun, & noon there would look similar to the sunset sky here, NASA says. The $600 million Kepler mission launched in 2009 with a goal to survey a piece of the Milky Way for inhabitable planets. From a vantage point 64 million miles from Earth, it scans the light from remote stars, looking for almost invisible drops in a star's brightness, suggesting a planet has approved in front of it.
It has discovered extra than 1,000 planets. Twelve of those, as well as Kepler-425b, have been less than twice the size of Earth and in the livable zones of the stars they orbit.
Missions are being ready to move scientists closer to the goal of verdict yet more planets and cataloging their atmospheres and other individuality.
In 2017, NASA plans to start a planet-hunting satellite called TESS that will be able to give scientists with more feature on the size, mass and atmospheres of planets rotating distant stars. The after that year, the James Webb Space Telescope will go up. That platform, NASA says, will give astonishing insights into other worlds, counting their color, seasonal differences, weather and even the possible presence of -vegetation.
NASA  Finds 'Earth's Larger, Older Cousin

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