Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Planet Kepler 186 is good parallel to Earth, but there is little chance to detect life
by Yevgeniy Sukhoy
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 22, 2014

File image.

NASA's astronomers have discovered a planet that resembles Earth like no other planet known until today. This planet is circling a star 500 light-years away from us. The first planet outside our planetary system was discovered 20 years ago. By now with the use of Kepler telescope about 2,000 planets have been discovered.

The Voice of Russia has talked to Oleg Korablev, deputy director of Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, to find out more about the newly discovered planet which is almost the same size as Earth.

The astronomers named the planet Kepler 186f after NASA's Kepler planet finding mission. According to Elisa Quintana of NASA's Ames Research Center this is the "first validated, Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star." The habitable zone means that the planet is located far enough from its star and temperatures there could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface. This makes the planet potentially hospitable for life.

The gravity on Kepler 186f is likely to be roughly the same as the gravity on Earth. According to Stephen Kane, an astronomer at San Francisco State University you could far more easily imagine someone being able to go there and walk around on the surface.

However Kepler 186f is not a perfect replica of Earth. It is closer to its star that is smaller, cooler and fainter than the sun. The planet itself is 10 percent wider than Earth and the time it completes one orbit is 130 days, not 365.

The planet is also receiving less warmth, so perhaps more of its surface would freeze. "Perhaps it's more of an Earth cousin than an Earth twin," says Thomas S. Barclay a member of the discovery team. The Voice of Russia has talked to Oleg Korablev, deputy director of Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, to find out more about the newly discovered planet.

According to astronomers the discovered planet is at the distance of 500 light years from us. How do astronomers measure the distance to a certain planet? How is it technically possible to measure a distance in light years?

Actually the distance to the planet is not really the distance to the planet, it is a distance to the apparent sphere, and 500 light years is quite large distance and it is not measured in light years, it is enumerated in light years. It means the light travels 500 years to this distance. It is pretty large.

It is about 32 million distances from Earth to the Sun and if we say it in kilometers, it will be really a very long number. So, it is a kind of astronomical number and light years is used to reduce it to make it more human. But about measuring the distances to the star, this distance is large and it is rather an estimation than the measurement because normally the distances are measured by triangulation and this works pretty well at one moment when Earth orbits around the Sun and in half a year it is in the opposite place, opposite position on its orbit around the Sun, and making triangulation from these two positions allows to measure very large distances but it is within 300-400 light years.

So, this is estimation from the greatness of the star although there is some relation from spectral properties, the color of the star, and its brightness, and it allows to make an estimation of the distance. That is how it works.

Astronomers say Kepler 186f is located in the habitable zone of another star. Does it mean that chances to detect some forms of life there is high?

I don't think there is a chance to detect any signs. You could maybe have some indirect information about the fact that life could exist on a planet, but for this case what we know is that it is a habitable zone. What is habitable zone? It means that the energy received by the planet from the star and the ratio of the energy received and the energy incepted make the temperature on

Source: Voice of Russia


Related Links
Life Beyond Earth
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

B3: the vitamin from outer space
Greenbelt, Md. (UPI) Apr 18, 2013
Vitamin B3, also called nicotinic acid or niacin, is the precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) - vital to metabolism and a key to the development of ancient life. And though its possible B3 developed non-biologically on ancient Earth, scientists say it's likely carbon-rich meteorites peppering the planet millions of years ago offered an extra dose of niacin. In studying ... read more

NASA Completes LADEE Mission with Planned Impact on Moon's Surface

Russia plans to get a foothold in the Moon

Russian Federal Space Agency is elaborating Moon exploration program

Science, Discovery Channels to broadcast private race to the moon

Meteorites Yield Clues to Red Planet's Early Atmosphere

NASA Mars Orbiter Spies Rover Near Martian Butte

The Path to Mars

Meteorite studies suggest hidden water on Mars

Go Big or Go Home - Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Doing Both, and More

NASA Astronauts Will Breathe Easier With New Oxygen Recovery Systems

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Powers through First Integrated System Testing

Astronauts to grow lettuce on International Space Station

China launches experimental satellite

Tiangong's New Mission

"Space Odyssey": China's aspiration in future space exploration

China to launch first "space shuttle bus" this year

Astronauts Prep for Spacewalk as Mission Managers Evaluate Busy Schedule

Dragon Cargo Craft Launch Scrubbed; Station Crew Preps for Spacewalk

Backup ISS computer breaks down, requiring possible spacewalk

No politics in space: ISS example of what Russia, US can achieve working together

SpaceX Cargo Mission Launches to Space Station

SpaceX supply capsule berths at ISS

NASA Signs Agreement with SpaceX for Use of Historic Launch Pad

MEASAT-3b arrives in French Guiana; Ariane 5 delivered to Kourou

First Earth-sized planet found in 'habitable zone': NASA

Odd Tilts Could Make More Worlds Habitable

Continents May Be A Key Feature of Super-Earths

Chance meeting creates celestial diamond ring

New Self-healing Plastics Developed

Satellite telecom vulnerable to hackers: researchers

Glasses strong as steel: A fast way to find the best

New technique takes cues from astronomy and ophthalmology to sharpen microscope images

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.