So far, we’ve witnessed the discovery of many planets that might provide even the slimmest hope of becoming Earth 2. The most recent finding, however, is different from what astronomers have seen. Thanks to a team of scientists from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, an exoplanet was spotted near the galactic center and is now part of the “Super-Earths” category. The exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-62f, is thought to be a rocky planet similar to Earth, though it’s much bigger than our planet and smaller than Neptune.
Now, the team searches for any pieces of evidence that might indicate the planet is suitable for supporting life as we know it. Kepler-62f raises some questions that scientists might find them a little bit challenging. Will they solve this puzzle until it’s not too late?
Kepler-62f Might Be the New Super-Earth
First, there is the good part. Kepler-62f has been classified as a rocky planet like Earth but is 10 % as massive as our host star. It’s within the habitable area of its host star – where temperatures would let liquid water to be present on its ground – but it orbits at a meager rate than our planet does. So, a year on Kepler-62f is over 600 days long.
The star at the core of Kepler-62f’s system is small, compared to our undersized star. Scientists found that it has only 10 % the mass of Earth’s host star, explaining the exoplanet’s slower orbit. They obtained such data utilizing a novel technique dubbed gravitational microlensing. All of these details look excellent if we’re hoping for the existence of life on Kepler-62f, but we still need time to figure out other stuff.
The team still doesn’t know a thing about the exoplanet’s atmosphere or surface features. Kepler-62f could be covered with water or dust. The possibilities are infinite, but scientists must find some answers soon.