Scientists discover Earth’s and Sun’s ‘mirror image’ 3,000 light-years away


Scientists have recently discovered a new exoplanet-star pair which resembles our Earth-Sun system.

The star Kepler-160 and the planet KOI-456. Are quite similar to the Sun and the Earth, more than any other planets previously discovered which makes the planet more conducive to life, according to a team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Gottingen, Germany.

The Kepler-160 has at least three planets in its orbit, according to the research published in the Astronomy and Astrophysics.

“We conclude that Kepler-160 has at least three planets, one of which is the non-transiting planet Kepler-160 d. We also find the super-Earth-sized transiting planet candidate KOI-456.04 in the habitable zone of this system, which could be the fourth planet,” the report said.

KOI-456.04 is orbiting the Kepler-160 at a distance similar to that of the earth from the sun. It takes approximately 378 days to complete one orbit, according to the report. The planet is approximately 3,000 light-years away from Earth.

The new discovery is different from previously discovered exoplanets. One of the key reasons for the same is its Sun-like host star, as per reports.

Most of the exoplanets previously discovered are hosted by red dwarf stars emitting infrared radiation rather than as visible light. Kepler 160’s composition shows that it is more similar to the sun reducing the chances of infrared radiation making it more potentially habitable. However, more research is to be done. More clarity can be provided by NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope as well as the ESA’s PLATO space telescope which is likely to be launched in 2026 as per reports.

“The full picture of habitability, however, involves a look at the qualities of the star too,” said MPS scientist and lead author of the new study Dr Rene Heller in an official statement.