The next time you find yourself staring up into the star-lit sky keep an eye out for Kepler-186f.
According to NASA, the planet qualifies as the first confirmed Earth-sized exoplanet that could sustain life. They don’t know if it has water, which is essential to sustain life, but they are convinced that the discovery creates the possibility that there are hundreds of Earth-like planets out there.
“The discovery of Kepler-186f is a significant step toward finding worlds like our planet Earth,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics Division director. “Future NASA missions, will discover the nearest rocky exoplanets and determine their composition and atmospheric conditions, continuing humankind’s quest to find truly Earth-like worlds.”
Sounds pretty optimistic. As for seeing Kepler-186f with the naked eye, you’re out of luck. It’s 490 light years away from Earth.
OMSI Planet Parade
On Saturday, April 19, join OMSI, Rose City Astronomers, and Vancouver Sidewalk Astronomers at both Rooster Rock State Park and L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park starting at 8:00 pm. From beginners to experts of all ages, here’s your opportunity to view the stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescopes. Viewing highlights includes Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn! Find out more →