NASA has announced that it has detected an exoplanet twice as large as the Earth at 226 light-years away from our planet. According to astronomers, it could contain water in liquid form.
Even though it ran out of fuel last October, ten years after being launched, the Kepler Space Telescope developed by NASA still had a revelation to make. Its detectors revealed an exoplanet nearly 226 light-years from the earth.
“This was an absolutely fantastic discovery given the way it was done, its[peculiar] orbit and because planet this size are relatively rare”, says a statement released by NASA senior author from the publication of the discovery, Adina Feinstein, from the University of Chicago in the United States.
Twice as large as the Earth
According to the data released by the US Space Agency, the exoplanet detected by Kepler measured nearly twice the size of Earth, that’s about half of Neptune. Called K2-288Bb, it could be rocky planet, although it seems rich in gas. In any case, one thing is certain: the exoplanet is in an area where water can exist in liquid form …
"Located nearly 226 light-years away in the constellation Taurus, the planet resides in a star system known as K2-288, which contains [two stars] separated by about 8.2 billion kilometers - about six times the distance between Saturn and the Sun.The brightest star is about half as massive and large as the Sun, while its companion represents about one third of the mass and size of the Sun. The new planet, K2 -288Bb, revolves around the smallest, least bright [of the two stars] in 31.3 days”, say NASA specialists.
The culmination of a mission of more than nine years.
This latest discovery by the Kepler Space Telescope was just one of thousands made since its launch in March 2009. The telescope has made it possible to detect no less than 2,600 planets, of which about fifty prove to be of size and temperature comparable to our planet.
Check out the video above for more on this exciting discovery!