Tired of the same old, same old on planet Earth? Well, lucky for you NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has found not one, but two planets that are the “best candidates” for being habitable planets, said ABC news.
These planets are currently being called Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f because they orbit the star named Kepler-62, and they make up two out of the five planets in this orbiting system.
What makes these new planets habitable? According to National Geographic, the planets orbit a sun that is cooler than ours but is at the right distance so that the planet can keep water in a liquid state, which is necessary for life to be supported.
Most planets that the Kepler telescope has found are just not quite what astronomers were looking for, or as the ABC report says “not quite right,” like the story of Goldilocks. This is why many are recognizing the area as “The Goldilocks Zone.”
The planets are located 1,200 light years away. If you are not up to date on your light years to miles conversions, one light year is just six trillion million miles away. So these planets are pretty far out there, to put it extremely lightly.
Life on Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f may have some slight differences from life on Earth. The star that they orbit around, Kepler-62, is seven billion years old, “which is 2.5 billion years older than our sun,” says ABC news. Because of this large gap in age, the life that could possibly be on the planet is most likely very progressive.
On Kepler-62e the temperatures are a more humid variety, whereas Kepler-62f experiences more “nippy” temperatures. These planets are also most likely “sea based,” said Lisa Kaltenegger of Harvard University.
William Borucki of NASA’s Ames Research Center said that the sun of both Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f would be less yellow than ours, and the setting sun’s sky would be redder than ours, but other than that “it would basically look and feel the same.”
This description may make some curious as to what kind of life would be on the planet. Most people begin to develop images of the quintessential green alien buzzing around in a saucer.
Kaltenegger disputes this by saying that it would be very hard for inhabitants of this planet to have a technology-based way of life since their world is most likely underwater, which would leave them to limited sources of metal and electricity, and also little to no fire for metallurgy (process of creating useful objects out of metals). So advanced technology is not likely, but who knows what kind of life is flourishing on this planet.
While there’s still much to be studied on these planets, the most vital thing is that the Kepler telescope did find a habitable zone of planets.
“I can’t think of a more powerful motivation to become a space-faring society,” Kaltenegger told the Huffington Post. “Imagine…having the capability to travel between them on a regular basis.”
It is massively exciting to imagine a future where we not only have the ability to just travel into space, but now have a real possibility of seeing other planets, like our own, to visit on the voyage.