Scientists have found an exoplanet and its star, almost in the mirror image of the Earth and sun, capable of supporting life. Experts from the Max Planck Institute, Germany, have confirmed about this star pair which is less than twice the size of Earth and orbits the star Kepler-160 which is almost akin to the sun. The twin pair is over 3,000 light-years away from the solar system.
The exoplanet, KOI-456.04, receives the exact amount of sunlight from its star as Earth receives from the sun. Kepler-160 emits visible light and infrared radiation albeit in a faint amount when compared to the sun. scientists have classified it as a red dwarf star.
“KOI-456.04 sits in a region of the stellar habitable zone – the distance range around a star admitting liquid surface water on an Earth-like planet – that is comparable to the Earth’s position around the Sun,” explains the team of scientists who conducted the research.
The orbital period of this newly discovered exoplanet is 378 days and it has 1.9 radii of the Earth and bears a striking resemblance to Earth. “The surface conditions on KOI-456.04 could be similar to those known on Earth, provided its atmosphere is not too massive and non-Earth-like,” states Max Planck Institute. However, experts believe in the need for more data before they could declare the KOI-456.04 a planet with the full capacity of sustaining and thriving life.
“It cannot currently be ruled out completely that KOI-456.04 is, in fact, a statistical fluke or a systematic measurement error instead of a genuine planet,” reads a research excerpt. “The team estimates the chances of a planetary nature of KOI-456.04 to be about 85 percent pro planet. Obtaining a formal planetary status requires 99 percent.”