Possible Venus ‘twin’ discovered

April 09, 2017 09:33 pm | Updated 09:36 pm IST - Washington

Astronomers, using NASA’s Kepler space telescope, have discovered a Venus-like planet orbiting a dim star that is one-fifth the diameter of our Sun and is located 219 light years away from Earth.

The newly found planet is only slightly larger than Earth, and it tightly embraces its low-temperature star called Kepler-1649, encircling it every nine days.

Insight into planets

The tight orbit causes the flux of sunlight reaching the planet to be 2.3 times as great as the solar flux on Earth. For comparison, the solar flux on Venus is 1.9 times the terrestrial value.

The discovery will provide insight into the nature of planets around M dwarf stars, by far the most common type in the universe.

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