Nasa’s Kepler space telescope has persistently been on the lookout for habitable worlds other than Earth. In one such voyage, astronomers from NASA and MIT came across 2 new exoplanets which were situated almost 950 light-years away from the Earth.
One of the planets was almost the size of the Earth while the other one was slightly smaller. The scientists believed that both the planets probably had rocky compositions and orbited a giant star like the Sun. These planets supposedly revolved around their star in a span of a few days or weeks. Owing to their firm circuitry, the planets appeared to be very hot. They were considered to be too hot to sustain life.
Co-author Sara Seager, the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Planetary Science and Professor of Physics at MIT, cited, “For the Kepler space telescope, it’s extremely significant, because it proves we can reach down to Earth’s size. It’s a massive accomplishment just to find anything at all like this.”
These new planets apparently orbited the star Kepler 20 and were related to the five-planet system. They have been titled Kepler 20e and Kepler 20f, respectively. The smaller planet Kepler 20e had the most chances of being a planet in the true sense. Its chances were even more than Kepler 20f whose possibility of being a planet was 1,370 times.
The scientists are hoping to locate even more Earth-sized and smaller than Earth-sized planets with the main objective being to locate worlds that could support life. The research is published in the journal, Nature.