The Earth is said to be 4.5 billion years old and it has outlived everything that inhabits it. We, humans, have lived in this world for estimatedly, five to seven million years and that is not even near half of the years Earth has led. Scientists have said that the planet is only capable of holding up to seven billion people because of its old age and currently we are at 7.8 billion people. It is obvious now that our planet is getting older, sicker and more unstable. Humans have been planting poison into the Earth from centuries ago and maybe the time where Earth succumbs to its pains, will come sooner than later. In the past years, with that possibility looming, scientists have started to search for other planets that can be the second Earth for the human race. It will have to have similar properties like Earth and humans should be able to live in it.
In the year 2015, there was a momentous discovery by the Kepler Science Team of an exoplanet that can possibly be Earth 2.0. This planet, named Kepler-452b, is a rocky planet orbiting a Sun-like star called Kepler-452 and the distance from Earth is 1402 light-years away. It was found by Kepler space telescope and it was acknowledged and announced by Nasa on 23 July 2015. However, don’t be too happy yet because in 2018, a study was conducted claiming that the Kepler-452b has not been proven its existence and it must still be considered a candidate rather than a confirmed one. The zone it is in is considered habitable and the planet has a mass five times that of Earth.
Not only that, the gravity is also as twice as Earth, meaning that if you weigh about 50 kilograms on Earth, then you would weigh much heavier on this planet, and it is also claimed that the clouds on this planet would be thick and misty which would cover most of the surfaces when it is tried to be viewed from here. The temperature there is said to be warmer than Earth and it is slightly younger than Earth, just over 2 billion years old. Although, it is not yet a sure thing and the properties of this planet is still something confirmed, scientists place a high hope on this planet to be the second home for the human race. The clock is ticking for scientists to find a planet like Earth before it is too late.
Those are the features of the possible Earth 2.0, planet Kepler-452b. Now, let us see what makes a planet habitable? A planet’s habitability is defined as the potential of a planet’s natural satellite to create and maintain environments that are hospitable to life. For now, the only known planet that can support life is Earth. Understanding a planet’s habitability is considered an extrapolation of Earth’s conditions because we only have Earth that we know is inhabitable. Until today, the existence of life on other planets are still unknown, although it is a topic that has been a debate for decades long. Some of the interesting factors that are taken seriously are those that show sustained complexed multicellular organism.
This research consists of numerous divisions of natural sciences, such as Astronomy, Planetary science and Astrobiology. The most important requirement is an energy source because without it, life cannot thrive on the planet. In 2018, scientists reported that water worlds could actually support life. Some of the notable characteristics that an inhabitable planet should have is high-mass, radius and orbit and rotation. A planet needs to have a high-mass because low-mass equals lesser gravity which would result in atmosphere retention difficult and the radius that is considered inhabitable is around 0.5 and 2.5 Earth radii. Also, the planet should be stable because this would affect the temperature’s fluctuation. These are only some of it and for it to be truly labeled as inhabitable, that particular exoplanet must pass countless other checks because it is a matter of life and death.
A home for all us is something essential and we need a place where we can continue to live. For example, if you live in a house and you find out that the house you currently live in is about to collapse, isn’t it natural for us to be looking for a new home? A flat roofer can’t always fix extreme things like this. That is what is happening right now. Many have said Earth cannot stand much longer due to all the pollution and such. While some would like to fix our Earth because we currently only have Earth as an option, some would like to head to space and find another home outside of our Solar System. The most important is even if we find another home, if we don’t take care of it then it would just end up damaged like Earth and it would be the end of the human race if we have run out of inhabitable planets.