Kepler Telescope of NASA has once again located four new planets in a different galaxy. Two out of four planets have been confirmed to have habitable zone and may support life. Liquid water is most likely to exist on these planets.
The planets are located in Aquarius constellation, 181 light years away, all four of them revolve around a red dwarf star (M dwarf star) and are about 20 to 50 percent larger than earth in their diameter. The star is less than half the size of the sun and less brighter.
The planets that are rocky and can support life are named as K2-72c and K2-72e, they complete their orbit around M dwarf star in 15 and 23 earth days respectively. Their location around the star is so that liquid water is most likely to exist. The temperatures are almost as the average temperature of Earth with the variation of 10 percent warmer and 6 percent cooler.
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft is on its K2 mission in space and has located 1,284 new planets since then, out of which astronomers confirm that 104 of them lie outside our solar system. Kepler discovers new planets by measuring the subtle dip in a star’s brightness caused by a planet passing in front of its star. Because it covers more of the sky, the K2 mission is capable of observing a larger fraction of cooler, smaller, red-dwarf type stars, and because such stars are much more common in the Milky Way than sun-like stars, nearby stars will predominantly be red dwarfs.
Steve Howell, project scientist for the K2 mission at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California said “This bountiful list of validated exoplanets from the K2 mission highlights the fact that the targeted examination of bright stars and nearby stars along the ecliptic is providing many interesting new planets”.