Far from being a traditional children’s tale this article will be focusing on the planet Kepler-452b, it was first announced by NASA on the 23rd July 2015.
It is in the so called Goldilocks zone, aptly named because (like the famous porridge) it’s not too hot and not too cold, the temperature is just right to allow liquid water to pool and collect which would allow the planet to sustain life.
Kepler- 452b ‘s planetary orbit is a mere 20 days longer than our own at 385 days in a year, and it’s Sun is a similar temperature to our own. It’s similarities with Earth don’t end there, its only 5% further away from its Sun than we are from ours, and like our own home planet it is likely to have a rocky surface, with the possibility for a volcanic system below the surface. Although it’s diameter is 60% larger than Earth’s and it’s gravity is 5 times what we are subjected to, that does not rule out the possibility of it hosting life. Kepler 452-B is likely to have an axis to spin on, which means that unlike other planets without an axis it will have night and day making life more likely.
The star that it orbits is 1.5 billion years older than our Sun and scientists have said that this means Kepler 452-B could be seen as Earth’s older cousin, giving us the opportunity to see into our planet’s possible future.
Unfortunately it’s unlikely we’ll be able to go on holiday there. At 1,400 light years away it would take us 25.8 million Earth years to get there if we travelled at the fastest speeds that are technologically available to us (36,373 mph), so not ideal for your next summer break.