It seems that the Earth is not the only planet having a habitable zone. Nasa has discovered 21 new planets ‘twice the size of earth’. This is the result of the latest NASA study.
According to the U.S News, the recently discovered planets could prospectively foster life with its surface temperature allowing liquid water.
The revelation of these exoplanets came after NASA announced the validation of 1,284 new planets in our galaxy; in our solar system. Among those, 550 planets are believed to be rocky planets.
These scientific findings were published in The Astrophysical Journal.
“This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler,” said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington said in an official report by NASA.
“This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth.”
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope satellite dug out the data. It used “transit method” which analyses the star’s light when any planet crosses in front of it like May 9 Mercury transit. The method needs close observation on the amount of light to make sure the cause behind it is actually a planet.
“Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy. Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars,” said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in a report by Observer.
“This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever-closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe,” he added.
The latest revelation, however, is based on the statistical method. No ground-based observations were taken into consideration.
“Planet candidates can be thought of like bread crumbs,” said Morton. “If you drop a few large crumbs on the floor, you can pick them up one by one. But, if you spill a whole bag of tiny crumbs, you’re going to need a broom. This statistical analysis is our broom.” said Timothy Morton, associate research scholar at Princeton University in New Jersey.