Kepler 452b the Second Most Awesome Planet
With the recent discovery of Kepler 452b, there’s renewed excitement about life throughout the universe, other than that found on Earth.
Kepler 452b is being called Earth’s older cousin, big brother or even Earth 2.0, among countless other names. Despite the fun nicknames, Kepler 452b is awesome for many other reasons.
What are Kepler 452b’s Earth-like Qualities?
Kepler 452b is an exoplanet orbiting around a G-class star named Kepler 452. This Solar System’s star is much like our star, the Sun. Its temperature is very similar to our Sun and is only 3.7 times more massive and an 11% larger diameter.
For all purposes, it’s very similar to our Sun and the only meaningful difference is that it’s about 20% brighter and a couple of years older… try 1.5 billion years older.
Kepler 452b (the planet) orbits around its Sun (Kepler 452) at approximately the same distance as the Earth orbits around our Sun. Starting to feel more like home, huh?
It takes Kepler 452b 385 (Earth) days to rotate around its Sun, very similar to our Earth year, just 5.4% longer. Who knows, it might even be nice to have an extra 2 weeks each year!
Kepler 452b (the planet) was discovered on July 23rd, 2015 and is the first potentially rocky Earth-like planet orbiting a G-class star in the “habitable zone” that we’ve found.
Here is another example of the Habitable Zone and where Kepler 452 ranks next to Earth:
Where in the Universe is Kepler 452b?
Well, it’s not that far away, by space standards. However, if you’re thinking it’s somewhere you might visit on your next vacation… better start saving those vacation days now.
Kepler 452b is about 1,400 light years away. At best, if you were to travel at light speed (186,000 miles per second), your children’s, children’s, children’s (repeat like 13 more times) children would arrive 1,400 (Earth) years later.
But, if you can’t wait for us to travel at the speed of light and want to get to Kepler 452b sooner, you’re probably going to have to hijack the Space Shuttle or something.
For the moment, let’s assume that you did and you got away with ‘Grand Theft Shuttle’. If you were to travel to Kepler 452b on the Space Shuttle, which travels at roughly 28,000 miles per hour or 672,000 miles per (Earth) day, you’d cover 245,280,000 miles per (Earth) year.
A light year is roughly 5,800,000,000,000 miles. So at 1,400 light years, Kepler 452b is roughly 8,400,000,000,000,000 miles away from the Earth (just down the road). It would take you about 33.1 million years to travel to Earth’s older cousin, Kepler 452b, on the Space Shuttle.
Here’s an artist’s rendition of what an Ocean might look like on Kepler 452b:
What Would it be Like to Live on Kepler 452b?
Kepler 452b is about 60 percent wider than Earth and estimated to be 5 times more massive. Because of this, the gravity on the surface is going to be much more than that here at home. Things would feel much much heavier than we’re accustomed to. Even your body weight would feel heavier and you’d get a serious work out just walking or even standing still.
Don’t let the increased gravity scare you, we’d be able to adjust and in time, it’d probably start to feel pretty normal. Over time our bones would get stronger and things would start to feel more like they did back at home.
Since Kepler 452 (the Sun) is roughly 20% brighter than our own Sun, bring sun glasses. I don’t care what you say, you’re going to want them. You’re also going to want a healthy supply of sunscreen, since Kepler 452 is putting out 10% more energy than our local Sun. Recommended SPF for Kepler 452… you guessed it, SPF 452.
Even with the brighter Sun, our transplanted plant life would thrive and grow perfectly fine. However, since its Sun is older, brighter and bigger than our Sun, it’s possible that (the planet) Kepler 452b will start to heat up and lose its oceans (if it has oceans) and evaporate its liquid water.
It isn’t certain yet, but it’s likely that Kepler 452b is rocky like that on Earth. It might even have a thick atmosphere, liquid water and active volcanoes! Woohoo, now it’s definitely starting to feel more and more like home.
Here is an example of what the Kepler 452 Solar System looks like when compared to our Solar System:
Well, this amazing discovery is all thanks to this guy here below (Kepler Space Telescope). Who knows, this amazing planet might have even hosted life similar to humans thousands, millions or even billions of years ago. If we’re lucky, maybe even still today…