In archived data from the Kepler space telescope, scientists have discovered the planet Kepler-1649c — the closest to Earth in size and possibly surface temperature. This is reported by Naked Science concerning NASA.
The Kepler space telescope worked in orbit from 2009 to 2018, detecting several thousand distant exoplanets. However, most of them are much larger than Earth, and even fewer are located at a suitable distance from their stars, creating comfortable conditions for potential life. However, the analysis of the data collected by Kepler continues, and recently they were able to notice the previously elusive planet Kepler-1649c.
In a press release from the NASA jet propulsion Laboratory, Kepler-1649c is called the most similar to our planet of all detected by Kepler. Located 300 light-years from Earth, it is only 1.06 times larger and receives from its star 75 percent of the energy we get from the Sun. More information about the find is described in an article published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Given the distance to the star and the fact that it is a relatively dim red dwarf, the temperature on Kepler-1649c may be about the same as ours. The planet is so close to the star that a year on it lasts about 19.5 earth days. In the same system, there is at least one other rocky planet of similar size, but its orbit is still almost twice as close to the star.
It is worth saying that red dwarfs are more restless stars than our yellow Sun. Now and then they emit powerful streams of radiation and particles that can destroy all life on a nearby planet. Also unknown is the composition and density of the atmosphere of Kepler-1649c, which largely depends on the temperature on its surface.
However, so far the planet looks like one of the most suitable candidates for habitability. Some of the known exoplanets (for example, TRAPPIST-1f) differ even less from the Earth in size, and others (for example, TRAPPIST-1d) — in temperature. However, the combination of both is found so far only in Kepler-1649c.