The Kepler Space Telescope may have been retired, but a significant amount of data has remained unprocessed and continues to reveal surprising facts as researchers explore it. NASA has announced that a new exoplanet, which seems to be quite similar to Earth, has been spotted in a batch of data collected by the spacecraft.
Kepler-1649-c can be found at a distance of 300 light-years away from Earth. According to the press release, the size and surface temperature seem to be the most similar in comparison to thousands of exoplanets, which were already observed in the past. It is also located in the habitable zone of its star, a key region that facilitates the existence of liquid water.
It was also mentioned that the exoplanet is a bit larger than Earth and receives 75% of the light Earth receives from the Sun, a trait which infers that the temperatures may be quite close. A computer algorithm misidentified the planet, but a team of researchers decided to comb the data batch manually.
The existence of such a distant world that is similar to our planet may prove that Earth-like exoplanets may be found at a closer distance. One major disadvantage of the exoplanet is represented by the fact that it orbits a red dwarf, which is known for the tendency to release solar flare-ups, accompanied by a significant amount of deadly radiation. Details about its atmosphere have also remained elusive for now.
Since red dwarfs that to be encountered quite often across the galaxy, it can be theorized that other exoplanets of this type are present and could be found at some point in the future. However, major technological innovations will be required if humanity plans to travel and establish colonies on other planets since it is likely that none will be a complete match for the conditions found on Earth.