Billion Of Planets Like The Earth
Do you believe if it is said that there are billions of Earths in the galaxy? Yes! There are billions of planets like the Earth. These planets have liquid water on their surfaces orbit around their parent stars like the Earth orbit around the Sun (our parent star). Kepler Space telescope has discovered a number of planets among which Kepler 452b was one. Scientists say that it was the most earth-like planet ever found outside our solar system. These are found to orbit in their habitable orbits.
The Kepler 452b is nearly 60% bigger in radius than the radius of the Earth. We know that the earth is the only planet where survival of living organisms is possible. But No! It’s proved to be absolutely a wrong illusion. Well! These billion planets can support for the survival of human beings, plants, animals, and all the other living organisms.
Kepler studies have found that there are more than 150,000 stars and more than 3,000 candidate planets. Among which many of these are “gas giants” like the Jupiter. These planets are identified to orbit close to their parent stars. If it supports life over there having liquid water on its surface, then they are seemingly similar to the Earth.
But everything is approximated roughly. because it was only Kepler who found that Earth-like planet orbiting around the G-type yellow dwarf, its parent star. We don’t know if it is rocky. We are not sure whether it has an atmosphere or water on its surface. We have seen only the dimming of the starlight from the host star. The pattern of that dimming gives us a good measure of its orbital period (385 days) and, less precisely, its size. We’re not even sure of the exact size of the host star. These objects are very far away.
Subhanjoy Mohanty, an astrophysicist at Imperial College London who was not involved with the study, said, “This is the first estimate of the frequency of Earth-like planets around sun-like stars, in orbits large enough to lie in the habitable zone of their stars. The finding that roughly one in five sun-like stars may host such planets is an incredibly important one. It probably exceeds the expectations of most cautious astronomers.”
He added that the latest analysis increased the chances that there might be life somewhere among the stars. “Previous analyses of Kepler data had shown that red dwarfs are the most common type of star in the galaxy. It makes up about 80% of the stellar population. They are very frequently harboring Earth-size planets including in their habitable zones. This new study shows that it is true around stars which are more like our own sun. This is certainly an added force and energy for planned future missions which will study the atmospheres of these potentially habitable planets. This enables us to investigate whether they are in fact habitable or not, and also whether their atmospheres show actual biosignatures of existing life.”
Nasa announced that the Kepler probe would be given a new lease of life, following fears that it would have to end its mission after only four years in space. In May 2013, scientists discovered that one of the gyroscopic wheels, known as “reaction wheels”, kept the probe pointing in the right direction had stopped working. And unfortunately, Nasa engineers could not restart it. Unable to point itself at the stars with any accuracy, the probe could no longer be used to collect data about the position of new exoplanets.
But it looks as though there could be a solution that involves reorienting the probe to look at the plane of the galaxy. After which, it will allow to remaining stable with only two of its reaction wheels working. Bill Chaplin, an astrophysicist at the University of Birmingham in the UK said, “The old saying ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ has proved true here, with engineers and scientists from Nasa and the spacecraft manufacturers having figured out this way to recover much of the performance that was thought to had lost. We are very excited.”
If all goes well, the new Kepler mission, dubbed “K2”, will look for planets around smaller stars than the sun. This will also study the stars themselves. Chaplin added, “There are a wealth of fantastically interesting targets for astrophysics that can be observed in the ecliptic plane. These were not accessible in the original Kepler field. They were notably brighter clusters of stars. The common origins and distances to these stars make the clusters excellent laboratories for testing our understanding of stars and the star-forming regions.”
All these studies proved that there are billions of planets like the Earth. But the unknown thing is that if those Earth-like planets support life for living organisms. And believe this or not, 10% of the 200 billion stars in our galaxy are like the Sun. Is it not amazing?
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