Brother Earth

Kepler is a spacecraft observatory that was launched in 2009 to discover other Earth-like planets orbiting their stars. Only recently did they find such a planet. 

Kepler is a spacecraft observatory that was launched in 2009 to discover other Earth-like planets orbiting their stars. Only recently did they find such a planet. NASA feel that this is the ‘closest twin to Earth’ that’s ever been found, bringing humans one step closer to finding another planet where life is possible. This discovery marks a major milestone in the journey to finding another "Earth."

The confirmation of a new planet (Kepler-452b) brings the total number of confirmed planets to 1,030. The mission set out by NASA was to prove that other suns host planets. Kepler-452b has a diameter 60 percent larger than Earth. While its mass and composition are not yet determined, previous research suggests that planets the size of Kepler-452b have a good chance of being rocky.

To make things a little confusing, NASA have decided to name the newly found planet Kepler-452b and its sun Kepler-452. While Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, its 385-day orbit around its sun is only 5 percent longer. The planet is 5 percent farther from its sun, Kepler-452, than Earth is from its own sun. Kepler-452 is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun, has the same temperature, and is 20 percent brighter, with a diameter 10 percent larger.

We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth's evolving environment. It's fascinating to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That's substantial opportunity for life to arise, if all necessary conditions exist on this planet.

So what does this all mean to us? Well it helps to silence the critics of this world that believe that we are alone. It is incredibly naive to believe that only our planet can sustain life, when we are nothing but a grain of salt in space. There are unlimited, uncountable planets millions of miles away that can possibly be supporting life right now. Maybe they already know about us and aliens really have visited our tiny planet! We will probably never know the answer to that. Not in our lifetimes anyway…

Prepared by: JZEnglish

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