An exoplanet planet called Kepler-62F meets the conditions necessary to support life, according to a new study published in the Astrobiology journal. This planet was discovered by the Kepler orbital telescope at about 1,200 light years from Earth, orbiting around the star Kepler-62 which is located in the constellation of Lira. The planet could have a vast ocean and it could meet the conditions necessary to sustain life, according to this study.
Atmospheric conditions that allow life
Aomawa Shields, the coordinator of this study and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California from Los Angeles said that there may be many variations of atmospheric conditions on this planet that could allow the whether to be warm enough so liquid water could exist on the surface of the planet.
For this reason it is very possible that this planet is suitable for life.
A very large planet
Dr. Shields, along with colleagues from the University, concluded that the planet Kepler-62F - which is about 40% larger than Earth - is part of a group of five exoplanets orbiting around a star smaller and cooler than the Sun, and it's the most distant of the planets from the orbit of its star. The size of the planets suggest that it could be a planet similar to Earth and it could have oceans and seas.
The period of revolution of this planet is 267 days. The distance from its star is similar to the distance of Venus from the Sun. The star of this planet is smaller and cooler than the Sun. Thus, the optimal distance at which water can exist in liquid form is closer to the star than in the case of our solar system.
Computer simulations of the planet
Starting from this information, the team led by Dr. Shields has created a series of computer simulations of the planet according to the three different types of conditions.
The first simulation considered a planet with an atmosphere as dense or even densest than the Earth's atmosphere. In the second simulation potential carbon dioxide concentrations from the atmosphere of the planet were considered at a similar level to the ones recorded on Earth or up to 2,500 times greater. The third simulation took into account various possible different configurations of the orbit of this planet.
The study concluded that there are several scenarios under which the exoplanet Kepler-62F could host life.