Photo credit: Medium
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany, led an international team of astronomers and discovered a potentially habitable exoplanet and its star that are claimed to be a “mirror image” of the Earth and the sun. Called KOI-456.04, this planet is less than twice the size of Earth, but orbits a sun-like star, located approximately 3,000 light-years from the solar system. Read more for a video and additional information.
Its host star, called Kepler-160, is noted to emit visible light, while the central stars of nearly all other exoplanets emit infrared radiation and are smaller as well as fainter than the Sun, therefore belong to the class of red dwarf stars. KOI-456.04 surface conditions may be similar to those known on Earth, provided its atmosphere is not too massive, especially since amount of light received from its host star is about 93 percent of the sunlight received back here on our planet.
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KOI-456.04 sits in a region of the stellar habitable zone – the distance range around a star admitting liquid surface water on an Earth-like planet – that is comparable to the Earth’s position around the Sun. The full picture of habitability, however, involves a look at the qualities of the star too,” said MPS scientist and lead author of the new study Dr. René Heller.