Written on 3 Aug 2015 in Blog
Researchers have discovered the most Earth-like planet yet, Kepler 452b. Similar to the size of Earth, the planet is hitting the news because it's the first similar Earth-sized planet orbiting a roughly Sun-like star in the 'habitable zone'. This area around a star also has another informal name; The Goldilocks zone! Because this area around a star is not too hot and or too cold for life, it should be just right. A year on Kepler 452b is 385 days but as the planet is slightly larger than earth we don't yet know how long its days are.
Launched by Nasa in 2009, The Kepler Telescope, has one mission: to find planets orbiting other stars. The discovery of the Kepler 452b means a total of 1,030 confirmed planets have been discovered by the Kepler Telescope, about half the total number found so far.
The discovery of planets similar to Earth helps us to better understand our own planet, so far out of 2000 planets discovered, we're unique, we have life!
Try and spot the better known planets of our solar system by getting involved with our new Cosmic Challenge. We have turned our city into its very own interactive solar system! Teaming up with businesses around Cambridge to represent each of the planets and celestial bodies, you will be sent on a treasure hunt for the planets and entered to win some very special prizes. Cambridge Science Centre is representing the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars in the Challenge. Download a copy of the solar system map here.