|Johannes Kepler (1610 portrait)|
The term “doppelganger” is an amalgamation of two German words: Doppel (“double”) and ganger (“goer”). It implies that for every one of us, there are two of us.
Could this include planets, too? Could Earth have a “twin” (or at the very least “cousin”) somewhere out there in the Universe?
Astronomers are thinking that Earth very well might. In fact, an exciting candidate was recently discovered a “mere” 500 light-years away in the Goldilocks zone of a red dwarf star within the
(Don’t go packing just yet… Bear in mind that one light-year equals approximately six trillion miles.)
This possible doppelganger, dubbed Kepler 186f after the telescope with which it was detected (in turn named after the great German mathematician Johannes Kepler), could have water on its surface. The Associated Press reports that this planet is located in “the sweet spot where lakes, rivers or
oceans can exist without freezing solid or boiling away.”
Of course, plentiful liquid water is a key ingredient for life as we know it…
Copyright April 19, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved