Kepler 452b: Another Earth-Like Planet 1400 Light Years Away

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People have been speculating for hundreds and thousands of years about life in the universe, other than on Earth. Discoveries, inventions have always been carried on by great scientists, astronomers in the scientific community to unravel the mysteries lurking around in the cosmos. With the new technologies making way into our lives, the tryst to learn more about “life” has brought us to a junction where plans are being laid down; research work is being implemented in this direction.

We’ve all heard about UFO’s, watched sci-fi films, television series, read novels in the same genre, it is creativity and the thirst to explore the space, which has prompted scientists to research and come out with newer findings every time. The latest news about the well known astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking and Jewish tech billionaire Yuri Milner teaming up for search of extraterrestrial life is one that has the entire scientific community stoked. The initiative known by the name of Breakthrough Initiatives will use telescopes that will be powerful enough to scan the stars. This would mean scanning 10 times more area which makes the project 50 times more sensitive than the prevailing research operations.

It was on 20th July that this initiative was launched. The Jewish billionaire has invested $100 million in Stephen Hawking’s search for aliens. Stephen Hawking had said, “A civilization reading one of our messages could be billions of years ahead,” he added, “If so, they will be vastly more powerful and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria.” It was only three days later i.e. 23rd July when NASA brought forward its breath-taking discovery, or a flicker of hope towards that discovery that is the basis of this article.

The Kepler Telescope of NASA found a roughly sized planet as Earth and named it Kepler-452b which is in the same zone as earth, namely the “Goldilocks” zone. It is 1,400 light years away from Earth and its orbit around its star is completed in 385 days (20 days more than Earth to orbit the sun). The presence of Kepler-452b in Goldilocks zone means that the planet is neither too cold nor too hot. So, it can inhabit life on it, although what kind of atmosphere is found there, this isn’t known yet. Scientists are predicting that it has a rocky surface which is 60 percent larger in its diameter than the Earth.

Interestingly, in accordance to Stephen Hawking’s prediction about the planets with life being even billion years older can come true if traces of life are found on Kepler-452b. It is predicted to be 6 billion years old, which means it is 1.5 billion years older than Earth. In continuation to this fact a statement released by NASA said, “That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

This is like a new beginning towards the search of life and of aliens on other planets in the universe. The journey to find another Earth like planet may take years for a better picture but efforts of scientists around the world appear to be taking shape. The recent findings will surely inspire youth to show more and more love towards science and technology.

 

Gagandeep Singh Vaid

Image Source: The Viewspaper

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