NASA made an “intriguing” discovery while sifting through data recovered from a decommissioned Kepler space telescope.
The newly discovered exoplanet has a size similar to that of Earth. Its orbit belongs to the habitable zone, has temperate weather and a high chance of finding liquid water.
While the Kepler space telescope stopped functioning in 2018, the data recorded by it is a treasure trove.
The planet was misidentified by the computer algorithm and consequently discarded. However, a fresh set of eyes rediscovered the planet.
Interestingly enough, the planet is similar to Earth in a number of ways, more so than any other planet discovered till now. It is the first planet that is similar to Earth in both size and temperature.
The exoplanet is 300 light-years away, and its sun is suspected to be a red dwarf. While the conditions of the planet could allow life to spring, the stellar flare-ups from its sun might be a hindrance.
The scientists are now keen on unearthing more information about this planet.