What is shown in a recent blockbuster ‘Interstellar’ has some truth in it. Scientists are, indeed, eagerly searching for possibilities of earth-like planet that could support potential life. Entire universe in its infinity lays open in front of human eye. Humankind is limited to our solar system and our galaxy. There are billions of galaxies in the universe and there could be billions of solar systems similar to the earth. So far, based on enormous amount of space research data collected over years, scientists have shortlisted some planets that may sustain potential life form. Take a look:
Kepler 452 is about 6 billion-year-old and is located about 1,400 light years away in the Cygnus constellation and is known as earth’s Older and Bigger Cousin. It was discovered in July 2015. Due to age of the planet, it is considered suitable to support evolution of life forms. The planet is 60 percent larger than earth, gravity is about double, takes 38 days to orbit around its yellow dwarf star, similar to the sun, receives same amount of energy that earth receives from the sun, atmosphere is thicker, and probably has active volcanoes.
Kepler 186f was discovered in 2010 and is referred to as “earth’s cousin,’ because of similarities between the two. Kepler 186f is 10 percent larger than earth and located 490 light years away in the Cygnus constellation. It receives energy from a star that is smaller than the sun, but closer to the planet. Size and location gave scientists a hint that the planet may have water on the surface and, like earth, it would be made of iron, rock and ice. Search for extraterrestrial life on the planet is still in progress.
Kapteyn b is actually considerably close to the earth at only 13 light years that orbits it red dwarf star. The year has just 48 days. The exoplanet is 8 billion years than the earth that makes it a promising candidate for hosting life.
Kepler-62e and 62f
Kepler-62e and 62f are 1,200 light years away in the Lyra constellation and both orbit the same star. Kepler-62e is closer to the red dwarf star, but both planets are considered candidates for hosting life. The 62e and 62f are about 1.6 and 1.4 the size of the earth respectively. A year has 267 days. The scientists believe that there could be water on the surface of one or both of the planets. Maybe, the surface is completely covered with water and that’s why these two planets are in the list of earth-like planets.
K2-3dK2-3 is also known as EPIC 201367065 and is located in the Leo constellation, about 150 light years away from the earth. That makes it one of the 10 closest stars with possibility of life forms. It orbits K2-3 – a red dwarf that is about half the size of our sun. Actually, there are three planets, K2-3b, K2-3c and K2-3d. The exoplanet is 1.5 times the size of the earth. It orbits around its star every 44 days.
Six planets orbit around HD 40307g, a red dwarf orange star that is 44 years away from the earth located in the Pictor constellation. The sixth planet, HD 40307g, comes under the habitable zone as it is closest to the star. This planet is about seven times larger than the earth and 197.8 days make a year. It orbits its own axis, which is responsible for day-night cycle.