NASA discovers ‘Earth 2.0′

NASA discovers ‘Earth 2.0′

“It would feel a lot like home.”

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During a month that would make any astronomy buff gush — beginning with high resolution photographs captured by NASA’s Horizons spacecraft that have changed the way we see Pluto — the agency also came out with more mind-blowing space news that dwarfs (pun intended) that of Pluto’s close-up photoshoot.

Law And Order Criminal Intent Antithesis Recap NASA announced last Thursday that, by way of the ultra-powerful ‘Kepler’ telescope, they have discovered a planet quite confidently termed by their experts to be ‘Earth 2.0’.

‘Kepler 452b’, as it’s catchily called for now, was found following months of observation of data and collaborative work by various scientists and astronomers. Due to its many similarities with Earth — its size (1.5 times larger) and proximity to its sun (receives 10% more solar energy, orbits every 385 days) — it is being called “a pretty close cousin of Earth.” Hence, according to Kepler lead data analyst Jon Jenkins, the planet “would feel a lot like home.”

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Working with geologists, NASA was able to identify that due to the rocky nature of Kepler 452b and its similarity to our own planet, it could likely contain active volcanoes — a signifier of tectonic activity, ergo water vapor. Furthermore, says Jenkins, “It’s spent billions of years in the habitable zone of its star.” Such revelations, amongst others, mean that many of the boxes to support life have already been checked.

Essay About The Internet Obviously, such monumentally earth-shattering (again) news was not without important questions from eager earthlings trying to make sense of it all. In response to queries regarding a trip to visit Earth’s newfound cousin for a family reunion of sorts, Kepler research scientist Jeff Coughlin was quick to remind us of our limitations to reaching Kepler 452b and other similar planets anytime soon.

“This is humankind’s first step. You and I probably won’t be travelling to these planets — but our children’s children’s children could be. This gives us something to aim for”, he said. However, perhaps sensing that such a conservative estimate might put a damper on the hopes and dreams of young astronomers tuning in everywhere, he quickly revised his estimate saying: “One generation from now we might be able to get there. It gives humanity something to aim for.”

Kepler 452b is located about 1400 light years away, so several generations of progress is probably a realistic estimate. Still, when considering how far technology has come over the past century or so, the sky’s the infinitely expanding limit (last one, I promise) for what humanity can hope to achieve moving forward.

Less than 5 decades ago humankind first reached the moon. Just over a half-century before that we first set flight. What will the next 50 years bring?

To stay up to date with latest Kepler research, visit http://kepler.nasa.gov/




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