NASA’s telescope Kepler that was designed to search for planets has found a total of 10 new, possibly inhabitable planets, with the right size and temperatures that could imply that there might be other life present.
Kepler telescope has spent the last 4 years searching and has finally spotted 49 planets in what the scientists are calling, the Goldilocks zone. The interesting thing is that the telescope was only able to scan one tiny part of the galaxy that has approximately 200 billion stars.
Seven of the total of 10 planets that are similar to Earth in size, are circling around stars that seem just like our Sun. This, of course, does not guarantee that those planets do have life on them but it is clear they they do have the most basic conditions to support life.
Nasa announced on Monday that they actually found 2019 candidate planets in the main mission, with these 10 being a part of that group. The telescope was a part of a research that had hoped to calculate the frequency of planets and especially the frequency of Earth-size planets.
Obviously, it is still too early to say how frequent are these potentially habitable planets are seeing that there are various factors that need to be taken into consideration. One of those factors is also that the telescope could only register those planets and stars that were moving directly in front of the telescopes sight line.
According to the scientists, the team will need approximately a year to do all the necessary calculations and figure out how many habitable planets are there exactly. As it now stands, it seems that Kepler has spotted over 4,000 planet candidates.
It looks like the planets that the telescope spotted weren’t only solo planets but they had a sun-like stars which makes them that much more exciting to research. One of those planets called KOI7711, seems to be the closest match to Earth in terms of size and temperature.
Kepler isn’t the only method for planet searching of course. Along with those other methods, NASA’s scientists have so far confirmed over 3,600 exoplanets and 62 potentially habitable. Although it seems like a small number, it is actually a great achievement, according to Caltech astronomer Courtney Dressing.