Tweet NASA scientists for the first time managed to confirm the existence of extrasolar planets present in the so-called ecosphere – the zone around the star where there are favorable conditions for the emergence of life, such as liquid water. A unique planet could be seen through the telescope Kepler (a space based observatory) whose one of the tasks is to search for Earth-like extrasolar planets. – This is a milestone on our way to finding Earth’s twin sister, said excited Douglas Hudgins of NASA. The planet has been called Kepler-22b, it is 600 light-years far from Earth in the zones bordering the Cygnus and Lyra constellations. It circles its primary Sun-like star with an orbital period of 290 days. So far it is impossible to determine whether it’s composed of rocks, gases, or liquids. Image by NASA (Kepler-22b compared to Earth) Kepler Space Telescope captures a new planet by measuring the decrease in brightness of 150 thousand stars. Such a decline in the star’s brightness means that probably there was a transit, or passage of one celestial body (e.g. a space planet) through the disc of a second celestial body (it can be a star) – said Ian Ridpath of the Royal Astronomical Society. Researchers decide whether a celestial body qualifies as a planet when they witness three transits. Astrophysicists have discovered over 1000 candidates for planets so far. 10 of them resemble Earth in their dimensions and circle around Sun-like bodies, which means that they are placed in the ecosphere; but all are waiting for confirmation of whether they are planets or not. Read the full story about Kepler 22-b on the NASA website Source: NASA, APTN SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox. Given email address is already subscribed, thank you! Please provide a valid email address. Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.