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NASA discovered a habitable planet

Life finds a way. NASA discovered a habitable planet in the constellation Cygnus; they named it Kepler-186f. This newly discovered planet is similar in size to Earth with key ingredients necessary for human survival.

For the first time, NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed a planet to orbit in a star's habitable zone; the region around a star, where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist.
For the first time, NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed a planet to orbit in a star's habitable zone; the region around a star, where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist.
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

NASA discovered a habitable planet

NASA announced this new discovery this week. The new finding is very promising, in that Kepler-186f is in the Goldilocks zone; it resides in the outer edge of a dwarf star with an atmosphere that can support water.

Since its launch in 2009, the Kepler telescope validated 961 planets, with more than a dozen capable of human survival and able to process photosynthesis. The first habitable planet discovered was 20 years ago.

The new world discovery is nearly 500 light-years away from our planet. A light-year is close to 6 trillion miles. A team of researcher suggests the plant’s radius is about 10 percent larger than Earth with a rocky terrain.

Located in the Milky Way, the recently discovered globe is one of four other planets orbiting the small red dwarf. The dwarf star is dimmer and smaller than our sun.

In addition, astronomers calculate Kepler-186f’s orbit is about 130 days, whereas, our orbit is 365 days. Scientists’ suspect the planet’s average temperature is below freezing and similar to our early spring dusk or dawn on Earth.

The success of the Kepler telescope

The Kepler telescope and team of scientists found other planets, called “super-Earths” in the last few decades. Most of them are a little larger and located in a Goldilocks zone, as well. This new planet discovery is the only planet discovered that is just about the same size as Earth. Kepler-186f is so far away for scientists to confirm whether it can sustain life.

NASA plans to launch another space telescope in 2018 to examine the new planet in more detail. The Kepler telescope is on its last leg; NASA is contemplating scaling it back due to previous mechanical failures. Nonetheless, the Kepler telescope and team of researchers, scientists, and astronomers are doing a phenomenal job in space exploration.