NASA has announced the discovery of over 100 Alien planets and four of them could be rocky planets similar to Earth. Interestingly, two of these planets may experience radiation levels from their star comparable to those on Earth.
Another groundbreaking discovery has been made by NASA’s Kepler space telescope as astronomers have discovered a treasure trove of 197 planet candidates with 104 planets already confirmed.
Found 181 light years from Earth, the new alien worlds are between 20 to 50 percent larger in diameter than out planet and orbit an M Dwarf Star called K2-72 located in the constellation Aquarius.
The new catalog of exoplanets comes after Kepler announced the largest discovery of alien words made to date, only a couple of months ago.
Out of the hundreds of confirmed exoplanets. Four planets stand out from the others as they are rocky and potentially habitable and could host alien lifeforms.
The treasure trove of planets was made possible thanks to combined data with follow-up observations by Earth-based telescopes.
Researchers used the North Gemini telescope and the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
M Dwarf Star K2-72 has much smaller dimensions and brightness levels compared to our sun. The exoplanets have orbital periods ranging between five and a half days and twenty-four days.
Interestingly, according to a statement released by NASA, two of the alien planets could have RADIATION levels similar to Earth, which has led researchers to believe there is a possibility that alien life might have existed there.
The findings, published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series are the result of combined data from different observatories, including the Kepler telescope itself. Since May 2013 the space telescope lost the second of its four gyroscopes and lost its ability to stare precisely at its original target area. However, researchers on Earth quickly came up with a solution that gave the space telescope another life.
After the fix had been applied, Kepler began its K2 mission which has offered an ecliptic field of with much greater opportunities for Earth-based telescopes in both northern and southern hemispheres.
Now, the space telescope covers more of the sky and is able to observe a larger fraction of cooler, smaller, red-dwarf type stars.
“An analogy would be to say that Kepler performed a demographic study, while the K2 mission focuses on the bright and nearby stars with different types of planets,” said Crossfield. “The K2 mission allows us to increase the number of small, red stars by a factor of 20, significantly increasing the number of astronomical ‘movie stars’ that make the best systems for further study.”
“This bountiful list of validated exoplanets from the K2 mission highlights the fact that the targeted examination of bright stars and nearby stars along the ecliptic is providing many interesting new planets,” said Steve Howell, project scientist for the K2 mission at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. “These targets allow the astronomical community ease of follow-up and characterization, providing a few gems for first study by the James Webb Space Telescope, which could perhaps tell us about the planets’ atmospheres.”