A study led by astrophysicist Ren? Heller of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System research in Germany looked at a planet around the star Kepler-160, about 3,000 light-years from Earth, according tomedia CNET. Data suggest that there may be an exoplanet called KOI-456.04 orbiting the star, which could be an Earth-like planet. The team published the study Thursday in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
The Max Planck Institute describes KOI-456.04 as “more than just another potentially livable world” and says the light emitted by its stars is “much like the sunlight we see on our parent star.” The exoplanet’s orbital period is also similar to Earth’s. KOI-456.04 is larger than Earth, but still less than twice as big as ours.
Most of the planets that scientists have found may be Earth-like are around red dwarfs, which are known for star flares that may make the planets in their systems uninhabitable. However, the star Kepler-160 is similar in size and surface temperature to our sun.
Researchers have found two exoplanets around Kepler-160 that are too hot to live in. They noticed KOI-456.04 as they tried to find out some strange phenomena in the orbit of one of the planets. The team now suspects that there are four planets in the system.
KOI-456.04 is located in the habitable zone of the system, where liquid water may be present on its surface. “KoI-456.01 is relatively large compared to many other planets that are considered probably habitable. Heller said. “But it was the combination of a planet less than twice the size of Earth and its solar-like host star that made it so special and familiar. “
There is also some uncertainty about the existence of the planet. “It is not entirely possible to completely rule out that KOI-456.04 is actually a statistical fluke, or a systematic measurement error, rather than a real planet. Although the study says, the team estimates that there is an 85 percent probability that it is indeed a planet.