Kepler-1649c: Unveiling Earth’s Cousin in the Cosmos

Kepler-1649c is a potentially habitable exoplanet, similar in size to Earth, discovered in the data collected by NASA's Kepler space telescope.

Discovering Kepler-1649c

In a captivating journey of astronomical detection, the exoplanet Kepler-1649c was found hidden within the wealth of data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

This discovery marks a significant milestone in the search for Earth-like planets beyond our solar system.

Initial Findings

Kepler-1649c was first identified by Robo-AI, a computer algorithm tasked with sifting through the Kepler space telescope’s data.

The potential significance of Kepler-1649c stemmed from its Earth-like characteristics and its location within the habitable zone of its red dwarf host star.

Initially, this exoplanet candidate was flagged as a false positive by the automated system, which meant that it was categorized as a phenomenon other than a planet, such as a binary star system.

Verifying the Exoplanet

Subsequent analysis by the Kepler False Positive Working Group—a team of scientists dedicated to examining Kepler’s potential misclassifications—challenged the initial assessment.

By meticulously examining the Kepler data, the team concluded that the signal was indeed a true planet.

The findings were published in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters”, effectively confirming Kepler-1649c as a confirmed exoplanet.

This revelation was not just about the discovery itself but also underscored the importance of revisiting and scrutinizing past data, an effort that can yield remarkable discoveries like this Earth-size exoplanet.

Characteristics of Kepler-1649c

Kepler-1649c: Rocky terrain, liquid water, and a red dwarf star in the distance

Kepler-1649c is a noteworthy exoplanet that exemplifies many qualities of interest to astronomers, particularly due to its Earth-like size and its orbit within the habitable zone of its star which raises the potential for habitability.

Orbital and Physical Properties

Kepler-1649c completes an orbit around its host star, a red dwarf, in just 19.5 Earth days.

This proximity results in an orbital distance of merely 0.0649 AU from its star, making its year significantly shorter than that of Earth.

Despite its close orbit, the planet receives about 75% of the stellar energy that Earth receives from the sun, due to the relatively lower brightness of its star.

With a mass approximately 1.2 times that of Earth, Kepler-1649c is considered a super-Earth, and it is likely a rocky planet given its size which is just 1.06 times the radius of Earth.

Habitability Potential

The exoplanet’s residence in the habitable zone offers a tantalizing hint at the possibility of liquid water on its surface, a critical component for life as we understand it.

The temperature on Kepler-1649c, coupled with its rocky composition, suggests that if the planet has a stable atmosphere, then it might maintain potentially habitable conditions.

This is especially intriguing when considering the search for Earth-size exoplanets that could host potential life.

Yet, its position relative to its star is reminiscent of Venus’s orbit around the sun, inviting further study into the atmospheric conditions that should dictate the true habitability of Kepler-1649c.