Sunday, May 26, 2024

Kepler – 62, The Enigma Behind

Written By Atreyo Bhattacharyya (Grade 4)

Life beyond Earth is the biggest question for mankind and the Kepler-62 star system can be our ultimate answer. The Kepler-62 star system consists of five planets. This star system has only five planets because of the star’s gravitational pull which is very less than our sun as it is a red dwarf. Kepler-62 is cooler and smaller than the Sun.

The first planet’s name Kepler-62b. It is a super-Earth planet with a radius and mass bigger than Earth. Kepler-62b is an exoplanet but because of its temperature which is higher than Venus, NASA has currently announced that there might be no life on this planet. 

The second planet is Kepler-62c which is similar than Mercury.  

The third planet is Kepler-62d. Kepler-62d is also a super-Earth planet but it cannot sustain life because of its temperature which is higher than mercury but lower than Venus. 

The fourth planet is Kepler-62e. Kepler-62e is a super-Earth exoplanet discovered orbiting within the habitable zone of Kepler-62, the second outermost of five such planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Kepler-62e is located about 1200 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Lyra. Kepler-62e was discovered on 18 April 2013. If we want to go to Kepler-62e, firstly it would take 28 million years to reach there and secondly it would cost 600 million dollars.

 The fifth planet of the Kepler solar system is Kepler-62f. It is a rocky planet with chances that it can sustain life. 

Distance from its starNameTemperatureSimilarityLifeDistance from EarthDistance from its starAmount of more light it receives from its star than EarthNo. of years needed to reach there No. of moonsRadiusMass
1. FirstKepler-62b477 °CVenusimpossible1,200 ly0.05 AU70% more sunlight1.6 RM
2. SecondKepler-62c305 °CMercuryimpossible1,199 ly0.092 AU25% more sunlight0.54 R0.1 M
3. ThirdKepler-62d237 °CVenusimpossible1,199 ly0.12 AU15% more sunlight1.95 R14 M
4. FourthKepler-62e− 3 °CEarthpossible1,198 ly0.42 AU20% more sunlight26 million yearsNo (but possible)1.6 R 4.5 M
5. FifthKepler-62f−65 °CEarthpossible1,198 ly0.718 AU41% more sunlight26 million yearsNo (but possible)1.4 R2.8 M

Kepler – 62f

  • It can have oceans like the Earth
  • Its atmospheric pressure is higher than Earth which is 5 bars (1 bar is equal to 0.987 atmospheric pressure)
  • It has 12 times thicker than Earth’s atmosphere
  • It was discovered on 13 May 2016 by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • In June 2018, studies suggested that Kepler-62f may have seasons and a climate similar to those on Earth.
  • The axial tilt is likely to have been unchanged, and its rotational period somewhat similar to Earth and thus supporting the fact that it is more sustainable for habitability such that it can transfer heat to the other side of the planet.

Thus we all are expecting to hear or learn about life on this planet which is a distant relative of us. Just waiting to get enough data about Kepler 62f.

Featured Image Courtesy – DW

Atreyo Bhattacharyya
Atreyo Bhattacharyya
Atreyo enjoys sketching, painting, quizzing, roller skating. He is a violinist who has a special interest in astronomy. He likes to read adventure stories and plays cricket passionately. He also has a special interest in learning computer programming languages. He has won prizes in recitation competitions, academics and sports like swimming.


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