NASA alien planet DISCOVERY: Will NASA find life on the distant world of Kepler 1658b?

confirmed today (March 6) a candidate planet in the Kepler-1658 star system, 10 years after it was first discovered. Spotted by NASA’s now retired Kepler space telescope, Kepler 1658b remained an exoplanet candidate for a decade. Exoplanet candidates are alien worlds, which have been spotted outside of our solar system but need to be confirmed by further observations. NASA’s Kepler-1658b was the very first planet candidate spotted by the space telescope but NASA said the road to its confirmation was “rocky”.

Will NASA find life on the confirmed alien planet?

Unfortunately, the odds of finding life on Kepler-1658b appear slim because the planet more resembles the gas giant Jupiter than it does Earth.

The planet also sits incredibly close to its star, resulting in an orbital period of just 3.85 days.

Kepler 1658b is so close to its sun, from the surface, the star would appear 60-times wider than the Sun does from Earth.

NASA said: “Despite being the very first planet candidate discovered by NASA’s Kepler telescope, Kepler-1658b had a rocky road to confirmation.


“The initial estimate of the planet’s host star was off, so the sizes of both the star and Kepler-1658b were vastly underestimated.

“It was later marked as a false positive — that is, scientists thought the data did not really point to a planet — when the numbers didn’t quite add up for the effects seen on its star for a body of that size.”

Kepler 1658b bounced back and forth between being a planetary candidate and being false positive until its collected data was refined with computer software.

Ashley Chontos from the University of Hawaii, who studied Kepler 1658b’s data set, analysed the planet for her first year research project.


She said: “Our new analysis, which uses stellar sound waves observed in the Kepler data to characterise the star, demonstrated that the star is, in fact, three times larger than previously thought.

“This, in turn, means that the planet is three times larger, revealing that Kepler-1658b is actually a hot Jupiter.”

Once the reined data poured in, confirming the planet’s status was the next logical step.

Ms Chontos contacted Dave Latham from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory with the discovery.


She said: “We alerted and his team collected the necessary spectroscopic data to unambiguously show that Kepler-1658b is a planet.

“As one of the pioneers of exoplanet science and a key figure behind the Kepler mission, it was particularly fitting to have Dave be part of this confirmation.”

Right now, NASA’s Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute lists a total of 3,924 exoplanets.

Out of these alien worlds, 2,338 have were discovered and confirmed by Kepler.

There are another 2,423 Kepler telescopes yet to be confirmed.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.