Using their Kepler space telescope; NASA, has discovered a new Earth-like planet named Kepler-186f. NASA is reporting that this planet is orbiting around its own star similar to our sun. Given these conditions, it is thought that Kepler-186f may have water pooled on its surface. Other planets have been discovered in habitable zones before, however they have all been at least 40 percent larger then Earth, making it difficult to determine their makeup.
While the size of Kepler-186f is known, it’s mass and composition are not. However, it is believed to be rocky; similar to Earth’s. The co-author of the study said, “Kepler-186f can be thought of as an Earth-cousin rather than an Earth-twin.” Kepler-186f is in the Kepler-186 system, which is around 500 million light years away. Kepler isn’t alone, there are four other companion planets in the system with it. They all orbit a red dwarf star, which is smaller then our own sun.
Kepler-186f orbits its star once every 130 days. This causes it to only get about one-third the energy as our sun. “The brightness of its star at high noon is only as bright as ours an hour before sunset.” says the NASA report. This means that Kepler-186f is on the outer edges of being inhabitable.