Amateur Researchers Have Discovered An Exoplanet That Might Be Habitable

Amateur Researchers Have Discovered An Exoplanet That Might Be Habitable

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In October, NASA’s Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel, which makes it dead for a further mission. The data that has been sent by Kepler space telescope during its life is still an incredible wealth and detailed analysis of this data will lead to new discoveries.

Through Kepler’s logs, researchers have discovered new exoplanets. The new find is termed as K2-288Bb and this planet is quite interesting to study for the researchers as it could host water. This new world has now raised the possibility that this exoplanet could be habitable.

The research is published in The Astronomical Journal. The study unveils that the exoplanet, K2-288Bb is located in the Taurus constellation and it sits around 226 light years away from our planet. K2-288Bb orbits around a binary star system which consists of two stars. These stars are smaller when compared to the Sun. The smaller star out of the two is about one-third of the sun, whereas the larger star is around half as massive of our sun.

The researchers are still vague about the new find, but K2-288Bb is larger than Earth, which is about twice the Earth’s size. According to the researchers, the planet is situated within the habitable zone of its system. It is probable to find water on its surface if it has a rocky structure. It could also be a gaseous sub-Neptune which would make it uninhabitable for humans.

The discovery was made by the team of amateur astronomers which makes it unique for other reasons as well. The biggest astonishment for the researchers was the planet’s size. NASA commented that the planets that are big in size than that of our Earth, specifically in between 1.5 and 2 times the size of our planet are rare to discover based on the data scientists have accumulated so far.