Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Earth like planets DISCOVERED!?

exoplanets_Kepler artist of exoplanets like earth.

There have been many findings of Earth like planets, but none have been exactly the same. The search for our twin is still underway as astronomers are hoping to find another Earth that has the same composition and density as our planet.

Kepler-186f is the first validated earth sized planet in the habitable zone of its star. This planet orbits its star every 130 days, which places it in the habitable zone, although our earth does a full rotation around the sun every 365 days, we must take into consideration the size of Kepler-186 sun which is considerably a lot smaller. Kepler 186f resides in the Kepler 186 system, which is about 500 light years from earth in the Constellation Cygnus. A constellation is a group of stars which form a pattern that is recognizable that is typically named after the apparent form of a mythological creature.

Scientists believe that this planet is most likely to be a rocky world, but are unable to determine the mass and density. As Kepler 186f is not identical to Earth which revolves around a bigger and brighter star, it revolves around a red dwarf star. This planet is not a true Earth twin but rather a cousin.

Kepler-452b the most recent and probably the closest twin Earth-like planet has been found with the use of the Kepler telescope. This planet is 1,400 light years away and orbits its star in 385 days, which is just 20 days longer than our own year. Its star is just 4% larger and a billion and a half years older and 20% brighter than the sun which clearly indicates that the 452b resides in the habitable zone. The odds of this planet being rocky and with liquid water is higher than any other planet that has been found with the use of Kepler.

There have been other planets that have a potential to be like Earth however their stars aren’t as comparable to a G Star which currently Earth is rotating around.


NASA artist comparisons

Technology is rapidly evolving, within the distant future we as human beings could possibly be reaching these planets that are light years away. This however will certainly not be in my life time but will definitely be in the future.

NASA has been planning for more exoplanet missions that will be launching in the next few years. Typically these are successors of the Kepler and Hubble telescopes but also, new technological advances to find our twin Earth.




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4 comments on “Earth like planets DISCOVERED!?

  1. karlwilkins
    May 7, 2016

    This was quite an interesting read. Although the video did add more information about what is required for a planet being in the “habitable zone” and Kepler itself, it did seem a little over-dramatic. What are your thoughts on semi-habitable planets such as the ones found around the TRAPPIST-1 dwarf star which Deborah Netburn at
    Or possibly even non-rotating planets that are close enough to their host star that the gravitational force stop any rotation however the like ultra-cool dwarf TRAPPIST-1 not enough heat so that the temperature about the tangent circumference of planet is at a sufficient temperate to have liquid water.
    Although this would mean that the side of the planet facing the star would be at an extreme temperature indefinitely while the side facing away from the planet would be eternally dark and frozen.


  2. scientificblogsite
    May 8, 2016

    I find it genuinely both exciting and defeating to hear about habitable planets, exciting that there will be safe havens for us to colonise when we explore the universe, some hope should the safety of earth be compromised. However also depressing knowing that the chance to explore and learn about these wonderful new worlds and the secrets and discoveries they hold will all most likely happen outside of my lifespan, given restrictions with modern day technology. I mean it would currently take us 50,000 years to reach our closest star, Alpha Centauri. I found this website a great resource on the physics of interstellar travel. (


  3. gtsuchid
    May 8, 2016

    This is a wonderful post filled with hope and possibilities for the future. I learnt a lot about different inhabitable planets and appreciated the use of relationships like cousin and twin. I would have definitely liked to hear more about the Kepler Telescope or found a link to it. I have now taken i look into it on,
    I do however understand how much information there is on the mission and that you could have created a whole post around the telescope.
    The only other thing that I thought might have been missing as you were looking into the future is if there was any possibilities of other life forms on these planets. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


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This entry was posted on May 7, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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