NASA’s latest discovery new Planet Kepler-22b is 600 light years away. Any idea how many generations would be needed to reach there?
Kepler-22 is making headlines across the world. The new planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission is suited for human life and the weather there is as pleasant as 70 degree, the scientists have claimed. This has generated unprecedented enthusiasm among people throughout the world.
Scientists working on the exceptionally futuristic Kepler project have suggested that this is the first planet in habitable zone. This means that the new planet may have everything that may ensure the presence of water and other necessary resources to support live.
But there is a catch. Right now there is no technology available that may take even a newborn child from earth to the new planet 600 light years away while he is still alive.
A light year is a way to measure distance in the space. A light year is almost 10 trillion kilometres or about 6 trillion miles away. A report suggests that one light year will require 1200 years to cover the distance by the best spaceships available to NASA right now.
Notwithstanding the fact that NASA scientists have come to conclude everything about its environment, mild temperature and other details, they have said that they still don’t have any real idea about its surface, whether it is rocky or plain or has liquid on it.
NASA’s Kepler mission has been launched to detect planets indirectly, using the “transit” method. A transit occurs each time a planet crosses the line-of-sight between the planet’s parent star that it is orbiting and the observer. When this happens, the planet blocks some of the light from its star, resulting in a periodic dimming. This periodic signature is used to detect the planet and to determine its size and its orbit.
So far the mission has detected more than 1200 planets. Though this is the first time a planet in the inhabitable zone has been discovered. Kepler has very powerful telescopes and other scientific instruments. Kepler uses a specialized one-meter diameter telescope called a photometer to measure the small changes in brightness caused by the transits.
Kepler has the capacity to continuously view and analyze an amount of sky about equal to the size of a human hand held at arm’s length or about equal in area to two “scoops” of the sky made with the Big Dipper constellation. In comparison, the Hubble Space Telescope can view only the amount of sky equal to a grain of sand held at arms length, and then only for about a half-hour at a time.