Scientists Have Found A Planet That May Be More Habitable Than Earth

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Have we finally found Earth 2.0? Maps4media via Getty Images

Researchers May Have Discovered A Planet More Habitable Than Earth

Has Earth 2.0 finally been discovered?

Recently, researchers discovered a planet that may be more habitable than Earth, located 1,200 light-years distant.

Researchers have created a new index to help determine which exoplanets—planets outside of our solar system—might harbour life.


Future work to determine which candidates would make the most habitable habitats will be guided by this tool.

This novel technique is described in a research that was published in the Astrophysical Journal.

To do this, it combines multiple data sets, including “transit data, stellar properties, and previously reported limits on planetary emitted flux.”

This methodology enhances the previous technique, which primarily concentrated on the ‘Goldilocks zone.’

This zone is the region around a star where temperatures are stable enough to support liquid water.
The Earth’s habitability score, using these updated standards, is 0.829.

Have we finally found Earth 2.0?
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But there seems to be a planet that is even more supportive to life.

Situated 1,200 light-years away from Earth, Kepler-442b was found by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft between 2009 and 2012. It is located within the star Kepler-442’s Goldilocks zone.

This exoplanet is categorised as a super-Earth, which means that it has an equilibrium temperature of -40 degrees and a mass and radius greater than Earth’s but less than that of Uranus and Neptune.

Kepler-442b ranks among the top candidates for possible habitability with a value of 0.836.

One of the study’s primary authors, Rory Barnes of the Virtual Planetary Laboratory at the University of Washington, described the importance of the new index as follows:

Compared to Earth, Kepler-442b has a habitability value of 0.836 vs 0.829.Getty Stock Photo
“Basically, we’ve devised a way to take all the observational data that are available and develop a prioritisation scheme, so that as we move into a time when there are hundreds of targets available, we might be able to say, ‘Okay, that’s the one we want to start with’.”

Kepler-442b has been given a habitability rating of 0.836 compared to Earth’s 0.829.
Getty Stock Image

However, the hunt for Earth 2.0 is still ongoing.

Given the lack of knowledge about Kepler-442b’s atmosphere and surface characteristics, its actual habitability is still up for debate.


Additionally, the article published in the Astrophysical Journal points out that a planet’s suitability for supporting life is not always higher on a ranking system than Earth.

In related space news, it was recently determined that Mars is uninhabitable by humans.

NASA is still working on plans to transport humans to Mars, even though the robots were successfully deployed there.

Any human visitation, though, will have to be brief. Studies have demonstrated that people cannot survive on Mars for longer than four years due to the extreme radiation exposure from the Sun, far-off stars, and galaxies.

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