Finding an exoplanet the size of Earth is considered a crucial discovery in the field of astronomy and planetary science. The size of Earth is considered to be a crucial factor in determining the habitability of a planet. An exoplanet that is similar in size to Earth is more likely to be located in the habitable zone, which is the area around a star where conditions may be suitable for liquid water to exist.
Liquid water is considered to be one of the key ingredients for life as we know it, so finding a potentially habitable exoplanet is a significant step in the search for extraterrestrial life.
K2-415b is located 70 light-years away from Earth
An international team of astronomers has found an Earth-sized exoplanet, designated K2-415b, located 70 light years away from the sun. The discovery was made using NASA’s Kepler and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) telescopes, according to Phys.org. The exoplanet, which orbits its star every 4.018 days, was found to have a radius of 1.015 Earth radii and a mass three times that of the Earth. The host star, K2-415, is of spectral type M5V and has an effective temperature of 3,173 K. K2-415b’s proximity to Earth and moderate transit depth make it a prime candidate for future atmospheric characterization studies of Earth-like planets. The authors of the research paper highlighted that K2-415b is the closest planet-hosting star from Earth found by Kepler/K2 missions.
One of the statements of the study wrote, as Phys.org quotes:
The distance of 22 pc and the moderate depth of the transit make K2-415 a good target for future observations, including further RV monitoring (e.g., to search for additional planets) and transit spectroscopy.
Moreover, the discovery of an exoplanet the size of Earth also helps us better understand planetary formation and evolution. It allows astronomers to study the planet’s composition, atmosphere, and surface features and compare it to our own planet. This information can help us build a better understanding of the processes involved in the formation and evolution of planets and the conditions that lead to the formation of life.
The study was published in arXiv.