An artist's impression of the Super-Earth exoplanet Kepler 22b.
- Kepler 22b is 620 light years from Earth.
- The planet was discovered in 2009 and confirmed in December 2011.
- It was the first confirmed discovery by the Kepler Mission of a planet known to orbit in the habitable zone.
- The planet orbits a star similar in mass and radius to our own sun, but it is around 25% less bright.
- Kepler 22b orbits slightly closer to its parent star then Earth orbits the sun.
- Little is known about the planet's orbital path, if it is highly elliptical temperatures on Kepler 22b would vary dramatically.
- We can only guess at the surface composition of Kepler 22b, it could be similar to Earth, entirely covered in oceans or even a small gas planet.
- If the planet receives too much energy from its star it could well suffer from a runaway greenhouse effect, resulting in baking hot surface temperatures similar to those on Venus.
- If kepler 22b has a similar composition to Earth its force of gravity would be more than twice as strong as it is on our own planet.
The exoplanet Kepler 22b has only 2.4 times the diameter of Earth.
Kepler 22b OrbitKepler 22b revolves around its host star at a distance of around 79 million miles (128 million km) and takes around 290 days to make one complete orbit.
Kepler 22b Mass and RadiusKepler 22b has a radius around 2.4 times that of Earth, its mass is unknown but depending on the composition of the planet could be anywhere between 6 to 14 times that of Earth.
Kepler 22b HabitabilityKepler 22b orbits inside the habitable zone of its host star, with an Earth like atmosphere the planet could enjoy comfortable temperatures of around 22C (72F), allowing for the presence of liquid water on its surface. As a result Kepler 22b is considered as one of the best exoplanet candidates for habitability.
Kepler 22b StatisticsHost Star: Kepler 22
Host Star Type: Yellow Dwarf - G Type Main Sequence
Host Star Mass: 98% of Sun
Distance from Earth: 620 light years
Planets Detected in System: 1
Discovery Date: 5th December 2011
Detection Method: Transit Method
Exoplanet Type: Super Earth
Mass: Around 6 to 14 x Earth depending on composition
Diameter: 2.4 x Earth
Distance from host star: 79 million miles (128 million km)
Orbital Period: 290 days
Temperature: Unknown, With a similar atmospheric composition to Earth surface temperatures would be around 22C (72F).
Gravity: Unknown, an Earth like composition would result in gravity around 2.4 x Earth.
Possibility of Life: With an Earth like composition and atmosphere it is possible life could exist in its oceans.