Kepler telescope spots the most Earth-like exoplanet ever discovered



While the number of exoplanets discovered by scientists via the Kepler telescope numbers in the thousands, most of the planets found have been gas giants, because gas giants are much easier to spot. But if you’re looking for an Earth 2, the closest thing so far is Kepler 186f, a small rocky planet only slightly larger than Earth that orbits in the comfortable “Goldilocks zone” around its star where it’s not too hot, not too cold. We may never know if there’s life on Kepler 186f, but its discovery is certainly a damn good start in the search for other Earth-like planets out there.

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“ There is no other species on the Earth that does science. It is, so far, entirely a human invention, evolved by natural selection in the cerebral cortex for one simple reason: it works. It is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything. ”

—    Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980 (via humanoidhistory)

(via humanoidhistory)