NASA Discover Alien Planet Earth Twin –Kelper-22b   46 comments

 

Alien Earth-Twin: Planet Kelper-22b

NASA Kelper: Planet Hunting Spacecraft

Kepler 22b, the new alien planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which NASA scientists say embraces the most hopeful possibility to date for potential future human habitation. Scientists also believe there is a tantalising option for the presence of continents, oceans and even alien life forms living on its surface. Kepler-22b is the first of many such planets that it is hoped will be discovered by the Kepler space telescope.

The Kepler Mission is a NASA Discovery Program for detecting potentially life-supporting planets-. those where liquid water might exist on the surface of those around other stars in the habitable zone. Terrestrial planets. (i.e. those one half to twice the size of the Earth)

Kelper Telescope

NASA’s Kelper planet-hunting spacecraft, a Space Observatory, that has been orbiting Earth since it was launched in March 2009 is the most powerful telescope in space. It needs a large field in order to observe the necessary large number of stars.

Beginning in the Star Fields

Kelper will be searching constantly in the Cygnus star field, staring unblinkingly at around 155,000 stars every half hour, looking for tiny drops in brightness that betray the presence of planets, for the duration of it’s 3.5 years+ mission. Cygnus is ideal as it lacks in bright stars that would hamper the instruments and it contains many stars similar to our Sun

image

Kepler’s targetd star field in nearby region of the Milky Way. Credit: NASA

The star around which Kepler 22b orbits in the region of the constellations of Lyra and Cygnus, is slightly smaller than our Sun and about 25% less bright. The alien planet was discovered after making a "transit" across the front of its parent star – when a planet crosses in front of its star (Sun) it blocks a small fraction of the light from that star.

                               Cygnus Star field                                       Kelper's Transit Method

Image 1. Kepler’s targeted star field. Credit: Carter Roberts of the Eastbay Astronomical Society   \mage 2. Artist’s rendering of Kepler’s Transit Method of Detecting Extrasolar Planets. Credit: SETI Institute

It is these microscopic variations in the star’s brightness that Kelper can detect. These tell the planet size. The time between ‘transits’ indicates the size of the planet’s orbit and estimates the planet’s temperature. These factors determine possibilities for life on the planet.

Alien Planet Kelper-22b

kepler22b-artwork

This artist’s conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.
CREDIT: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

2.4 times the size of earth Kelper 22b orbits a star similar to, but smaller and cooler than, our own sun. Scientists say it is 15% closer to its own star than Earth is to our Sun and is located at the somewhat daunting distance of 600 light years away from our own Solar System. At 290 days, the duration of a year on Kepler-22b is not far off our own and the planet’s surface temperature is an agreeable 22deg C. (72deg F) (Sign up here if you wish to join Wolfie on a summer holiday)😉

Its atmosphere is of a nature that could potentially support life and Kepler-22b is the first “Earth twin” known that is situated in the ‘habitable zone’ of another Sun-like star. This allows for temperatures fitting to the existence of liquid surface water throughout its orbit. I.e. Kelper- 22b could have Earth-like continents and oceans…and where there is liquid water there is also a strong possibility of life. It is even possible, according to scientists that Kelper-22b is in fact already inhabited!

However scientists have yet to figure out whether Kepler-22b is of a primarily rock, liquid or gas composition. A rocky surface would be the best ideal for life. However, a certain Professor Abel Mendez of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory has pessimistically suggested that the chances are that the new and alien planet is likely to be too big to be a habitable world… well there’s always one!

To date the Kepler space telescope has discovered a grand total of 48 planets in the habitable zone of their own solar systems. (The “Goldilocks zone”) Kepler-22b is just the first alien world within such a zone to have been confirmed by other telescopes observations.

NASA announced the discovery of Kepler-22b on Dec. 5 2011.

 Planets and orbits to scale

Comparison chart of our own solar system and  Kepler-22, a star system containing the first "habitable zone" planet discovered.

"This discovery supports the growing belief that we live in a universe crowded with life," ~ Dr Alan Boss, from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, helped identify the planet from data collected by the Kepler space telescope.

"This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin," ~ Douglas Hudgins, a member of the Kepler telescope team.

“Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet," ~ William Borucki, who led the team that discovered Kepler-22b.

46 responses to “NASA Discover Alien Planet Earth Twin –Kelper-22b

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  1. facinating post. facinating subject as well. i dont know if i would leave here or not … given it was possible. i would need woods and mountains, and an ocean! maybe i would, just for the trip.
    k*

    • Who knows! You may yet get woods and mountains and an ocean! Perhaps not as you are used to seeing on ye ole home world of Earth but none-the-less…😉 And of course you would make the trip! How could you not if the chance arose? To see…to walk…to BE…on another world…an alien world amongst the stars…it would be the trip of a lifetime🙂

  2. Well, it’s somewhere new to go on holiday anyway.

  3. Well we may be saying Hello to Aliens in our lifetime yet Wolfie lol

  4. Thanks for the good reporting! I’ve seen a lot of shoddy reporting on this subject–yours was much more thorough.

    I reallly want us to get the James Webb telescope online so that we can analyze Kepler 22-b’s atmosphere and learn if it does indeed host water, or even free oxygen. I’m really concerned for the James Webb’s future in light of all the current budget cuts.

    I also have to say I’m very pleased by this discovery because I’ve long been intrigued by the concept of life around other types of stars. The difference in Kepler 22-b’s parent star’s mass would mean significant differences in the colors a human would experience on the planet’s surface. An orange sun and a green sky are likely. Beautiful.

    Thanks for posting!

    • Thank you! And greetings to you kagmi🙂 Fantastic to see you here, you are very welcome and I really enjoyed reading your comment thank you!

      Yes,the budget cuts are concerning re the James Webb, but we must maintain a positive outlook on it. Although the required funding has been capped at $8 billion, at least the threatened James Webb cancellation plans have been reversed (November 2011) So there is hope yet🙂

      I am thrilled by this discovery! And I share your intrigue concerning the “concept of life around other types of stars.” The prospect of stepping out into a new and alien world, experiencing the intense sensory perceptions such as you describe would be a wonderful and unforgettable privilege that fires the imagination as well as the hope. Happy New Year 2012!🙂

  5. I heard this morning Steven Hawking talking about the future of our planet, and how he believes in the future we will be living on alien [as now] planets, and it would be a necessity due to what’s happening here on Earth, IMO instead of the money being spent on flitting around in space , which is all very magical and fascinating, I grant you, the money should be spent in sorting out the problem here, curbing the birth rate for starters. That little rant of mine over, a very interesting post Wolfie.

    • Yes, there’s a fair amount of news about Steven Hawking floating around at the moment I notice, Arlene. But on this subject he may have a valid point…and maybe settling alien planets is a way of sorting out the problems here if a little imagination was used…shipping out the “breeders for benefits” and those who have never done an honest day’s work in their lives, and have no intentions of doing so, to a nice remote backwater world might be one option😉 One way tickets of course and I am certain the Earth would be well pleased with the sudden drop in taxation on her resources!

    • I have such mixed feelings on the matter. On one hand, there is so much more we could be doing with those funds to solve problems on Earth. But on the other hand, we all know, on some level, that Earth is temporary. So unless we as a species plan to be temporary too, I feel like we should be looking into getting some of our eggs into other baskets, so to speak.

      For my money…I would looove to see massive cuts in military budgets around the world. Our space program consumes only a tiny fraction of what our “Defense” Department consumes–the DoD actually gets more funding annually for satellites than NASA does! Split our defense spending between human services and space exploration, maybe, and they’d both experience a huge boom.

      …of course, for that to happen, we humans have to trust each other. Which we seem to be terrible at. I just pray for the day people no longer want to blow up other people, and when they have enough control over their governments to stop that from happening. Then the chances of us making Earth unlivable would fall drastically, and funding for both solving global problems and space exploration could go way up.

      • Can’t disagree with anything you’ve said here…I think most, if not all would to a large extent agree with you. There are many things we now take for granted in our lives today that likely sounded like frivolous flights of fancy and an unfortunate waste of money and resources when the ideas were first born, that have proved invaluable to us as future generations. Of course it is vital to stay grounded when considering what some may see as far-fetched and even wasteful options but exploring possiblilites albeit ones that are currently out of reach and outside our dreams and aspirations could lead us to new solutions to Earth problems that might otherwise have gone un-thought of.

        The enticing thought, for some of us at least, of other Earths and the liklihood of finding any is probably a long way into the future. Even if we did find one in the immediate future we do not have the technology to travel such distances or the ability to make manned flights if we could. But we can live in hope that if and when such an occurrance should happen mankind will have evolved and matured past the point of destroying itself and spending its time, money and resources on war and conflict. Until then perhaps it is as well we do not have the capabilities necessary to travel the necessary distances etc. But equally we should never lose sight of our dreams for without hope and without dreams what are we?🙂

  6. I was afraid this would happen if I let Simon rewire the cloaking device. The puny humans have discovered our home world!

  7. This is a repost isn’t it Icywolfy of the Icy Realm,
    I am sure that I have read this one before and even
    if I am wrong I have enjoyed reading it again this
    time too, it is really interesting I know that🙂

    This could be somewhere that the Politicians
    could take their soap boxes to🙂 No how about
    that for a wicked thought Icywolfy?🙂 Actually I
    can think of a very large list of celebrities that
    could be shipped out too including a very dodgy
    chef that is hopeless at cooking anything unless
    it has salad ingredients in the recipe🙂 lol

    Have a wickedly enjoyable weekend Icywolfy
    and watch out for any paint spills🙂 lol Gnawty🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Good day Androgoth🙂 Thank you for your thoughts on this latest post. No it is not a repost. Kelper-22b was not announced till Dec 5th 2011 by NASA!! It would be nice to think I could see into the future like that tho!! Any reposts have been clearly marked as such and there will be no more reposts now 2011 is safely behind us😉 Thank you for your observations…and have a wicked weekend!🙂

      • I am sorry about that Icywolfy, I thought that I had read this
        one before but I might have read something online about the
        discovery of this alien planet🙂 Anyway I have enjoyed reading
        your posting and alwyas like these space offerings, hey I also
        like your Mythology posts too so I hope that you are thinking
        of adding some more this year?🙂😉 Well sooner rather than
        later would be a very good idea me thinks?🙂

        Have a lovely rest of weekend and be good, and that means
        None of that Naughtiness in between okay?🙂 GOOD… lol

        Androgoth XXx

      • I have posted on other Kelper planets so you were probably thinking of one of those. But they were strikingly different to Kelper-22b and certainly not likely to habitable by humans!! Much too hot…Hope you had a gothtastic weekend🙂

  8. Merhaba benim güzel Buz arkadaşım
    Nasılsınız?
    sizi çok özledim..
    güzel dostluk için teşekkür ederim
    size mutlu ve güzel bir hafta sonu diliyorum
    benim tatlı arkadaşım
    kendine çok iyi bak
    çok kucak dolusu sevgiler gönderiyorum
    görüşmek umuduyla..buz arkadaşım :))

    • Merhaba benim güzel arkadaşım Seçil
      Ben çok iyi teşekkür ederiz:)
      Bu hafta sonu çok yoğun
      ve tüm elektronik cihazlar kırıyor!😦
      Ben harika bir hafta sonu diliyorum
      büyük kucaklama… Buz😉

  9. Mein lieber Freund wünsche dir ein gutes Wochenende wenn ich das viele Eis sehe wird mir Kalt hier in Köln ist nur Regen und Sturm Grüsse dich ganz herzlich von mir Gislinde,http://zitroneblog.wordpress.com

    • Vielen dank Gislinde:) Ich hoffe, Ihr Wochenende ist auch sehr gut. Meine Internetverbindung ist sehr langsam heute, aber ich werde wieder versuchen, dich morgen besuchen. Es ist mobiles Breitband und schlechtes Wetter beeinflusst die Verbindung negativ.

  10. Reminds me of a movie somewhat. Love the hue in the blue colors here everytime I visit as always very interesting too – good to see you blogging in the new year<3

    • It will be movie to remember if Kelper-22b proves to be a habitable world🙂 Wolfie will be first past the post to the flight deck complete with sun tan lotion and a very big camera!!😉 In the meantime it is great to see you here, thanks!🙂

  11. A facinating and another informative post my dear friend😀 I must say I will “Sign up here if you wish to join Wolfie on a summer holiday”…in a heartbeat girl. What magnificent times we live in and poohy to the pessimistic Professor, too big to be habitable? Bah humboogers lol.
    I am in awe of these moments…happy to be here.
    warm feathery,
    Rx

    • Well of course it COULD be too big to be habitable…but if we all took that sort of negative approach all the time we’d never bother doing anything would we? Dare to dream!! Anyway…we still have much to learn about this alien world before we can be sure one way or the other🙂 x

  12. merhaba benin canım ve güzel arkadaşım Buz🙂
    güzel sözleriniz için çok teşekkür ederim
    size sağlıklı ve huzur dolu mutlu bir hafta diliyorum
    çok kucak dolusu sevgiler gönderiyorum..
    görüşmek umuduyla..sevgi ile kalın🙂

    • Sevgili ve özel arkadaşı Seçil teşekkür ederiz
      Bu Yeni Yıl büyük bir umut
      hepimiz için daha iyi bir gelecek için …
      Bizim dostluk benim için çok önemli.
      ve ben güzel bir hafta dilerim
      ve muhteşem bir gün!
      Tıpkı sizin gibi😉
      Harika bir hafta benim güzel arkadaşım tadını çıkarın …
      Buz kucaklama🙂

  13. Ein lieber Gruss und einen schönen Tag Herzliche Grüsse Gislinde.

    • Vielen Dank Gislinde, und das gleiche für Sie:)
      In diesem neuen Jahr ist eine große Hoffnung für eine bessere Zukunft für uns alle …
      Ich wünsche Ihnen eine schöne Woche und einen fantastischen Tag!

  14. Are you adding a New Guestbook this year Icywolfy?🙂
    I think that would be a very good idea my great friend🙂😉

    Maybe you could find some
    dusters and Mr. Sheen while
    you are doing that, it is ages
    since you did any polishing🙂

    Have a wicked Wednesday now Icywolfy of the Icy Realm🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • G’day Androgoth…hope all is well in the Gothic Realm and that Jen is on the mend🙂 Re guestbooks…I have no plans to add one in 2012.I understand and appreciate that they are a very important part of your own site but, as I stated on a previous occasion when you raised this subject, for myself the useage level did not justify its presence. Your own will undoubtedly keep you very busy so do have a very fulfilling Thursday in gothic guestbook world😉

  15. Benim sevgili ve özel arkadaşım Buz..
    muhteşem sözleriniz için size çok teşekkür ederim
    benim içinde sizin dostluğunuz çok önemli.
    güzel ve mutlu bir gün diliyorum size
    çok kucak dolusu sevgiler gönderiyorum
    sevgilerle kalın..Buz arkadaşım..

  16. Hej Wolfie..
    vad skönt att höra att världens hjärta sjunger med mig..
    Hoppas att ditt hjärta också sjunger med mig

    Hoppas du trivs utan snö det gör inte jag jag gillar snö och jag vill ha snö mär det är vinter..varje årstid har sin plats och är det vinter så ska det vara vinter..

    Ha en fin vecka kram Nicki med det sjungande hjärtat

    • Hej Nicki Med det sjungande Hjärtat🙂
      Ja naturligtvis mitt hjärta sjunger också med dig!
      Alltid!

      Ja … du har rätt … det är vinter …
      och det bör vara snöa ….
      eftersom Nicki med sjungande hjärta önskar för snö!🙂

      Jag är glad att säga ingen snö i Storbritannien!
      Varm och fyllig som sommar😉
      Alla blommor blommar!
      Ser ut som årstiderna är lite förvirrad!
      Kram sjungande Hjärtat Wolfie!!!🙂

  17. always appreciate knowing more about our incredible universe
    your contribution is a wonderful addition
    thank you the hard work Wolfie

  18. As Hawking claims, the Earth will most likely die or be distroyed (possibly nuclear war or maybe a super nova explosion) in the next thousand years or so… The question is… will the human race escape to space? Kepler 22b is a mere 600 light years away from Earth (however, with our current technology… it would take one of our former shuttle craft 22 million years to get there). Even if we find an “Eden” out there that be could colonize… what are the chances of reaching it before the human race is extinct? Space is so vast and we are still in our early infancy regarding space and space travel. We have a lot of work to do young Earthlings! J2

    WindyGap@raleigh.twcbc.com

    • Good day John! Welcome and thank you for your visit🙂 Interesting comment…if world affairs continue as they are currently, that 1000 yrs or so prediction might come around an whole lot sooner than we wanted or expected!! Let’s hope the human race learns some sense before it reaches such a drastic point. Actually John…I do wonder if we were to find an alien world that we could colonise that perhaps human psychology may switch from it’s currently common doom and destruction fixation to a that uplifting sense given by second chances, a stunning new hope for the future and and a reason to live a better way…a reason to put aside our differences, to put down the weapons of war and instead work towards a united goal of peace and survival and the health and prosperity of a new world.We must reach out and touch the stars! But first…as you say John, we Earthlings have a lot of work to do!!🙂

  19. Have a wicked Thursday
    Icywolfy of the Icy Realm🙂😉

    Androgoth XXx

  20. Before I do anything esle this evening even answer my own blog posts I have to come over here to say hi and to acknowledge this post.. I have had it saved in me emails now far too long.. and twice you have hooowwwled your way into Dreamwalkers Sanctuary and I still havent been to visit your Icy Realms..
    I find this subject of new planets always a great joy, for it shows little by little new discoveries are being made all the time, and this Universe is Swimming with Life.. even if it isnt always perhaps fit for us Humans to live upon… I could kick myself as I came across another YouTube discovery last week I will have to try and find it again.. Genuine I think, if i find it I will forward your way.. An object this side of the Sun.. I hope to find it and let you look and tell me what you think..
    Wishing you a Great Weekend Wolfie…… Now I need to get to your hoooowls upon my page.. Many thanks again for visiting and leaving me your most welcome comments my friend xx

    • No problem Dreamwalker, it can be very difficult at times to fit in blog visits especially when there are more than a few smiling and waving from the inbox or the W/P reader at any one time lol😉 I appreciate you finding time to check it out and it’s always good to see you! If you find that YouTube vid you mentioned I would be interested to take a look, and will of course let you know my views on it. Enjoy a great weekend! x🙂

  21. Wünsche dir meine Freundin ein schönes Wochenende hier in Köln ist es stürmisch und Kalt bei euch sicher noch Kälter. Grüsse Herzlich Gislinde.

  22. Wünsche dir meine liebe Freundin ein wunderschönes Wochenende in der Hoffnung das du nicht so frierst Grüsse dich recht Herzlich und wünsche dir noch einen guten Freitag.Gislinde

    • Hallo Gislinde, ich wünsche Ihnen einen schönen Freitag!
      Ich bin warm und bequem in langen Unterhosen, danke! Nun … es ist ein Weg, um warm zu bleiben! Eigentlich … Wir haben eine Menge regen jetzt, also nicht so kalt🙂 Ich wünsche Ihnen eine sonnige und trockene Wochenende!

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