Kepler-452b or Earth 2.0, the recently announced rocky super-Earth with very similar features to our planet, is the most look-alike planet discovered so far. Yet, reaching it may be challenging since it is located 1,400 light-years away.
So, with current technology we may not reach it during our life times unless there is a major technological breakthrough that will take time-space travel by storm, experts say. On July 30, NASA made another announcement– the closest transiting super-Earth HD 219134b is located 21 light-years away.
But Earth 2.0 is more likely to host life because it is located in the habitable zone of its host star. The habitable zone also known as the Goldilocks zone is a stretch of space where temperatures on planets are not too hot or too cold for a life-friendly environment to occur.
HD 219134b, however, is a scorching hot planet with its surface in continuous transformation due to some highly active volcanoes triggered by the close positioning to its star.
Although Earth 2.0’ features are subject of speculation, scientists hope to find evidence to back their fantasies of a thick atmosphere and solid surface. So far, NASA experts claims that Kepler-452b is the most suitable planetary candidate for the position of Earth’s dopplegänger.
Yet, 1,400 light-years are not a stone’s throw from our planet even in Sci-Fi flicks. For instance, Star Trek’s USS Enterprise would require 16 months at maximum speed to reach the planet. And that’s a starship that could surpass the speed of light.
To have a clue where we currently stand, NASA’s New Horizons which performed the historic flyby of Pluto last month would require about 20,000 years for every light-year. Multiply that by 21 and see the number.
Yet, we do have some more up-to-date technology that could bring an extra boost in speed. For example, Dawn probe’s ion engines provide faster speeds than the chemical thrusters of New Horizons.
Additionally, the space agency has big plans of improving those engines which could boost Dawn’s speed by up to ten times. Dawn’s current maximum speed is 9,600 miles per hour or 15,360 kph.
Although it may sound promising, the new speed would allow a craft reach Earth 2.0 in more than 10 million years.
But there’s still hope. For instance, Project Orion, which was first unveiled in the 1960s, promises speeds of five percent the speed of light with help from nuclear power. If that it case, a crew would need 28,000 terrestrial years to reach the planet.
Image Source: Wikipedia
Latest posts by Anne-Marie Jackson (see all)
- SF Hospital Slaps New Parents with $19K Bill for Baby Treatment - Jun 29, 2018
- Furious Trump Blasts Harley-Davidson for Moving Production Overseas - Jun 28, 2018
- Warning! MRI Machines Could Poison You - Jun 27, 2018