Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
NASA Finds 8 New Planets in 'Goldilocks' Zone
Jan 15, 2015

NASA's Kepler space telescope has found eight planets in the Goldilocks zone of their stars, just at the right distance to contain liquid water and, possibly, life.

  • Two of them have been touted as most Earth-lik—Kepler-438b and Kepler-442b—which are orbiting red dwarf stars that are smaller and cooler than our Sun.

  • Kepler-438b circles its star every 35 days while Kepler-442b completes one orbit every 112 days.

  • With a diameter just 12 percent bigger than Earth, Kepler-438b has a 70 percent chance of being rocky. Kepler-442b is about one-third larger than Earth but still has a 60% chance of being rocky.

  • Kepler-438b receives about 40 percent more light than Earth. In comparison, Venus gets twice as much solar radiation as Earth. As a result, it has a 70 percent likelihood of being in the habitable zone of its star.

  • Kepler-442b receives about two-thirds as much light as Earth. Scientists give it a 97 percent chance of being in the habitable zone. This doubles the number of small planets (less than twice the diameter of Earth) believed to be in the habitable zone of their parent stars.

  • Kepler-438b is located 470 light years from Earth while the more distant Kepler-442b is 1,100 light-years away.


Prior to this, the two most Earth-like planets known were Kepler-186f, which is 1.1 times the size of Earth and receives 32% as much light and Kepler-62f, which is 1.4 times the size of Earth and gets 41 percent as much light.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.