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Space travel and the chances of settling on another planet have always fascinated humanity. But despite all our great telescopes and observatories, we haven’t found another planet that we can call home. However, some of these heavenly bodies come pretty close to being Earth-like.
In this Bright Side article, let’s look at some of the most habitable planets that we’ve discovered so far.
Teegarden’s Star b
This planet orbiting the Teegarden’s star lies in its habitable zone. As of July 2019, it’s the most habitable planet discovered based on the Earth Similarity Index that was developed to compare how similar a planet or a satellite is to Earth. According to this index, it’s 95% similar to Earth.
This earth-sized exoplanet is situated approximately 40 light-years away from us. According to the Planetary Habitability Catalogue, Trappist 1-e is the third most potentially habitable exoplanet that is 95% similar to Earth.
A planetary sibling of TRAPPIST-1e, this planet is also thought to be habitable. It’s believed that the planet has a very similar temperature to earth and might even have an atmosphere, oceans, and/or ice layers. Scientists consider this planet to be 89% similar to Earth.
This planet orbiting the star Kepler 438 was discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Scientists speculate that liquid water may exist on the surface of the planet. But some studies also show that the planet receives powerful radiation from its star every 100 days which might make the planet uninhabitable. Currently, this planet is considered to be 88% Earth-like.
Proxima Centauri b
This planet orbits the star Proxima Centauri, which is our sun’s closest star neighbor. This planet orbits in the habitable zone, where given correct planetary conditions and atmospheric properties, liquid water may exist on the surface. But its habitability has been questioned as it lies in the tidal zone, which means that the planet’s one side continuously faces the sun and the other side is perpetually dark. Life is thought to be possible near the border of these 2 sides. This planet scores 87% in terms of being Earth-like.
This rocky near-Earth-sized exoplanet has been described as being one of the most Earth-like planets in terms of size and temperature. It’s 84% like planet Earth.
This very recently discovered exoplanet is the only one that lies in the habitable zone of its star. The host star EPIC 201238110 is about 522 light-years away from us and lies between the constellations Leo and Virgo.
Teegarden’s Star c
Situated 12 light-years away from us, this exoplanet is the fourth nearest planet that is thought to be habitable. Because of its temperature, it’s thought that water or ice might exist on its surface. According to ESI, it’s 68% similar to Earth.
Situated at a distance of about 13.8 light-years from Earth, this is the fifth closest known, potentially habitable planet. This planet’s star has the ability to burn for up to 400–500 billion years which is about 40–50 times longer than the sun. This planet is considered to be 76% similar to our home planet.
Ross 128 b
This is the nearest planet outside our solar system that orbits around a quiet red dwarf star and is therefore considered to be one of the best candidates for habitability. If the planet has an atmosphere, the temperature might be suitable enough to sustain liquid water on the surface making it 86% similar to Earth.
Will we ever find a planet that is habitable just like Earth is? And if we do, will we be able to develop technology to help us travel such astronomical distances? Tell us in the comments what you think!
Preview photo credit NASA, NASA