‘Most Earth-like planet yet’ spotted by Kepler

This artist's impression of Kepler 186f reveals a rocky world that could hold liquid water on its surface

This artist’s impression of Kepler 186f reveals a rocky world that could hold liquid water on its surface

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The most Earth-like planet yet has been discovered, scientists report in the journal Science.

The rocky planet, Kepler 186f, is close to the size of Earth and has the potential to hold liquid water, which is critical for life, the team says.

Nestled in the Milky Way, it is part of a five-planet system that orbits around a cool dwarf star.

It was spotted by the Kepler telescope, which has found nearly 1,000 new worlds since its launch in 2009.

“This is the smallest planet we’ve found so far in the habitable zone,” said Prof Stephen Kane, an astrophysicist from San Francisco State University, US.

“Start Quote

The kind of star it does orbit – which is a very small star – are amongst the most common in the galaxy”

End Quote Prof Stephen Kane San Francisco State University

Kepler 186f is about 500 light-years away from the Earth.

The researchers estimate that is a little bigger than our planet, with a radius that is about 10% larger than ours.

Additional Reading

The Quran and Extraterrestrial Life

Categories: Astronomy

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