NASA’s Kepler satellite made a stunning discovery during its K2 mission, highlighting the existence of two new planet formations relatively close to our own. One of them is a whole new solar system with three planets almost the size of Earth, while the second one sports planets of a much bigger size.
The new solar system has planets similar to Earth
If you ever thought of finding a new solar system similar to our own, the K2 mission turned it into reality. This new system is only 160 light-years away from Earth and took researchers by surprise. Three of its planets are incredibly similar to our own. In fact, one of them is precisely the size of Earth, while the other two are only a bit bigger.
However, don’t get too excited, as the new solar system can’t really be inhabited. All the three planets are extremely close to their sun, so the temperatures probably can’t sustain life. The discovery stays remarkable, as these planets are quite common in the universe. Therefore, researchers assumed they might be a little more hospitable than we would think.
The planets probably cannot sustain life
The second new solar system is a bit different, as its planets are much bigger than our own. In fact, they are called super Earths. Also, there’s one more thing worth mentioning about the two systems. Both of them have red dwarf stars at their center, which are smaller and less hot than our Sun.
Could this mean the planets might sustain life? The chances are quite slim, since the planets are still too close to the stars, but researchers will still continue their observations. The K2 mission spotted them as they passed in front of the stars, causing dips in their light. By studying these dips, researchers can find out more about the planets and the new solar systems.
Image source: NASA