Earth-like Exo Planet
Astronomers may have discovered an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star, a little over 3,000 light-years away.
The planet named 'Planet KOI-456.04', the unconfirmed exoplanet is thought to be similar to Earth for several reasons.
- It is said to have a similar distance between its sun - Kepler-160 - with an orbit that takes it 378 days to complete.
- It also thought to receive 93 percent as much light as Earth gets from the Sun.
- That when combined with the fact Kepler-160 is thought to be very similar to our own sun in terms of mass and radius, leads scientists to believe they may have found an Earth-like planet in the solar vicinity that has the potential to sustain life.
- Most exoplanet discoveries thus far have been around red dwarf stars, which for several reasons would be improbable hosts to habitable planets, including the fact they can emit high-energy flares and radiation that would make it difficult for life to survive.
- According to a research paper published in Astronomy and Astrophysics journal last week, Planet KOI-456.04 appears to be the fourth planet orbiting the Kepler-160 star.
- Planet KOI-456.04 was discovered after examining old data collected by NASA’s exoplanet-finding Kepler mission with new algorithms to study the star's (Kepler-160) brightness, a study led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), along with researchers from University of California Santa Cruz as well as NASA.
- KOI-456.04 is said to be the fourth planet orbiting Kepler-160, with the third called Kepler-160d.
- It was confirmed indirectly by the same study, as it was not seen to transit the light curve of the star.