As we know there are endless planets in the universe, and an infinite amount of planets in an infinite amount of galaxies, revolving around an infinite amount of stars.
We also know that we have not yet found any planets with any sort of life, not even simple life like bacteria, however that is not to say that life does not exist outside of the solar system. We just haven’t found any life yet!
Will we find life on other planets? Its a good question, and it has been asked for a very long time.
We have been asking that question a lot more ever since 1995 when the first exoplanet was discovered, and since then thousands of planets have been discovered outside of our solar system.
One of these planets is Kepler 452b. Kepler 452b has been dubbed ‘Super Earth’ and is currently the most likely planet that we know of that could support some sort of life.
See artist impression picture below of what Kepler 452b could look like.
Discovered by NASA in July 2015, Kepler 452b was found in the constellation of Cygnus by the Kepler Space Telescope, orbiting the star Kepler 452, 1400 light years away from Earth.
So, the planet and the star were discovered by the space telescope that are all named after the famous astronomer Thomas Kepler. How cool.
In simple terms, the reason why it is believed that Kepler could sustain life and is one of the main candidates is because of the star that the planets revolves around, along with the distance the planet is from the star.
Also, because the planet is also a rocky planet (thought to be rocky but not confirmed) rather than a gas planet. So with these ingredients Kepler 452b is a good place to start to look for life.
There is a stumbling block though in finding life on Kepler 452b and confirming f life on this planet can exist. The problem is that with the planet being 1400 light years it would take a very long time to get there to kind out. With the fastest spacecraft available, it would take a massive 26 million years just to get near the planet.
So, will we find life on Kepler, well we are looking, and more importantly we are listening. SETI (search for extra terrestrial intelligence) are particularly interested and have targeted pointing radio waved technology at Kepler to try and find signs of life. So far they haven’t found any signs, however they are trying very hard.
Kids Fun Facts Corner
# 1. Kepler 452b is also known as Earth 2.0.
# 2. Kepler 452b takes 385 days to orbit it’s star.
# 3. The mass of Kepler 452b is 5 times greater than Earth.
Q. When was Kepler 452b discovered?
Q. How far away is Kepler 452b from Earth?
Q. How long would it take to get to Kepler 452b using the fastest spacecraft on Earth?
Q. What constellation is Kepler 452b in?
Q. What does the organization SETI stand for?
Download questions about Kepler 452b here: Kepler 452b (answers are on this page)
For further reading and more information on Kepler 452b visit www.space.com/kepler542b
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