Kepler-186f

500 light years from earth, much further than Tau-Ceti¬†at 12 light years,¬†Kepler-186f orbits red dwarf Kepler-186 with a radius similar to Earth. Discovered and documented by the Kepler space telescope, it is accompanied by four other planets orbiting much closer to the star. The planet 186f would seem to orbit it’s ‘sun’ in just over four months.

While news reports make popular the existence of an Earth0like planet in an Earth sized orbit, this is not interesting because the star is a red giant, and the system seems to lack the protective gas giants that would shield a planet of this type from meteorites and comets. However the Earth sized palnet is important in that gravitational forces would be comparable. However the Olympics, if held on such a planet, would have their own set of high jump and pole vauit records to deal with minor gravitational differences.

Kepler-186 is a star one twenty fifth the brightness of the Sun. Kepler-186f is actually in a smaller orbit and would receive around one third the light energy than does Earth.

About ten percent larger than Earth, 186f is still not with any certainty identified as the home of oceans or a thick atmosphere. It’s rotation speed, or day is also not determined, but because of its proximity to the start 186, it is thougt that the day length might be much longer than Earth’s.