NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope recently discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star within the habitable zone of our galaxy. Kepler-186f is approximately 500 light-years from Earth in the Cygnus constellation.
The habitable zone, also known as the Goldilocks zone, is the region around a star within which planetary-mass objects with sufficient atmospheric pressure can support liquid water at their surfaces. While it has been estimated that there are at least 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in our Milky Way Galaxy, this particular discovery is labeled the first Earth-sized planet to be found in the habitable zone of another star.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
In addition to Kepler-186f, there are 4 other planets that orbit a nearby star within the Kepler-186f system. What this means is that if the nearby star to this planet is similar to our Sun, then the probability of life on this planet exponentially rises.
A problem, I would think, with thinking that this planet would be “Earth-like’ is that Earth’s oxygen atmosphere is a result of the pollution of Earth’s primordial atmosphere with oxygen by primeval slime-mold.
Without life, Earth isn’t possible.