The sun is one of countless stars scattered in the Universe. Despite the fact that our star is not very large in size, brightness flares and are located almost at the very edge of the galaxy the milky Way, it is unique in the fact that we were able to shelter a huge diversity of life on our planet. If so, what if the stars, like the Sun, also possess such a wonderful property, as the maintenance of life? And if so, how many in the Universe?
What the Kepler telescope?
Scientists and science fiction writers have always been interested in the opportunity to find such worlds in the Universe, which at least looked a little like Earth. In order to realize the dream about exoplanets, back in 2009 in the near-earth space was launched a space Observatorythat decided to be named after famous German astronomer Johannes Kepler who discovered the laws of planetary motion.
“Kepler” became the first telescope in the history of mankind, which was developed specifically for studying planets outside the Solar System. Over 10 years of operation, this unique invention was able to find more than 5,000 objects, some of which were earth-like. So, Kepler-452b, which revolves around a Sun like star in the habitable zone, is one of the most Earth-like objects, which is very likely the presence of life.
The era came to an end: the Space telescope “Kepler” has officially completed its work
How to find a planet through a telescope?
To ensure that you may have read about exoplanets new on our channel, Yandex.Zen, “Kepler” until 2018 daily monitors all visible from earth orbit the universe using the so-called “transit method”. The essence of the method lies in the fact that the telescope was daily watching the stars, lying in a zone of its visibility in order to see a small dark spot passing over the disk of the distant sun. Each found a spot meant only one thing — “Kepler” managed to find a new potential exoplanets.
Despite its advancement, “Kepler” could make errors in the search for exoplanets. Due to the fact that finding a planet of great size next to his star is much easier, than to find a small planet in a relatively remote star from a distance scientists believe that the telescope could fail to notice many potential worlds.
In order to overcome such an oversight, researchers have developed a new method to determine the frequency of planets in wide range of sizes and orbital distances. The new method simulates the “universes” of stars and planets, and then “watch” these simulated universes, to determine how many planets would be discovered by Kepler in each of the “virtual worlds”.
This technique could help researchers to review previously obtained data and be decisive when assessing the number of earth-like planets that fit the criteria of habitability.
How many planets around other stars?
Although the mission “Kepler” has found thousands of small planets, most of them are so far away that astronomers are hard to learn more about their composition and atmospheres. At the same time, based on approximate modeling, researchers have calculated that the planet is close to Earth in size and mass, with orbital periods from 237 to 500 days, there are close to one of the four stars. If you take into account that on average each star there are about 3 planets, we can assume that our galaxy contains a huge number of still unexplored worlds.