• The planet has been dubbed Kepler-453b, and it's in the habitable or "Goldilocks" zone of its stars. That means it's the right distance from its host stars to potentially hold liquid water.

  • In the case of Kepler-453b, however, life is impossible: Scientists calculate that its radius is a staggering 6.2 times greater than Earth's. At that size, the planet is almost surely a gas giant, not a rocky planet that could harbor life like ours. If the planet turns out to have rocky moons, it's possible that those could be habitable.

  • Because the planet's rotation is subject to the gravitational pull of not one star but two, it has an orbit that's a bit on the wonky side. Kepler detects a planet when it passes in front of its sun, relative to the telescope's point of view, because it makes the star's light grow dimmer. According to researchers, this new planet's unbalanced orbit is detectable only about 9 percent of the time.


Share This Article