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Author Topic: Kepler 186f - Earth's long distance cousin  (Read 335 times)

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Offline HadesTopic starter

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Kepler 186f - Earth's long distance cousin
« on: April 23, 2014, 11:12:33 PM »
Last week, NASA announced that the most Earth-like exoplanet had been discovered.  Using data from the now disabled Kepler telescope, researches found Kepler-186f in a star system about 500 light-years away.

To me, it's interesting and exciting for a number of reasons.  One, it's the nearest planet in size to our own, meaning the technology has advanced to the point where we're no longer limited to finding either massive Jupiter on steroids sized gas planets or the "super Earths" that are probably rocky in nature but still alot bigger than our little blue dot in space.  And secondly, the host star is a red dwarf star.  That type of star makes up approximately 70% of all stars in our galaxy.  So if this particular star has a multi-planet system (four confirmed at least, there may be more that just hasn't been found in the huge collection of data Kepler gathered) that means that planetary formation is likely very common in our galaxy.  And if planets forming around a star is the norm rather than the exception, the chances of us finding life outside of Earth goes up by huge magnitudes.

Plus it's nice to have stories like this occasionally I think to remind us that humanity is made up of the same elements that forms that newly discovered planet.  The universe is part of us, and by understanding it we ultimately understand ourselves.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Kepler 186f - Earth's long distance cousin
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 12:45:48 AM »
Plus it's nice to have stories like this occasionally I think to remind us that humanity is made up of the same elements that forms that newly discovered planet.  The universe is part of us, and by understanding it we ultimately understand ourselves.

In fact, everything bigger than hydrogen and helium was formed in the centers of stars as they worked their way through the fusion sequence.

"We are star stuff."

 - C. Sagan.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Kepler 186f - Earth's long distance cousin
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 02:48:57 AM »
In fact, everything bigger than hydrogen and helium was formed in the centers of stars as they worked their way through the fusion sequence.

"We are star stuff."

 - C. Sagan.


Offline Isengrad

Re: Kepler 186f - Earth's long distance cousin
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 07:57:11 PM »
Whats really and truly fascinating is someday, we might be able to see if there is life on there, or any other earth like planet with the E-ELT