Hawaii and NASA researchers find Earth-like planetUPDATED 8:37 PM HST Apr 17, 2014Video Transcript
in a discovery that may show we are not alone in this universe NASA researchers found a planet that's around the same size as Earth and is capable of harboring life. KITV 4's Cam Tran has more on how Hawaii played a role in this out of this astronomical find. It's all new tonight at 6. Check out Kepler 186F. This is an artist rendering of the new planet NASA scientists found which may have water--- a key ingredient to life. The planet also exists in a so-called "Goldilocks zone", not too far and not to close to it's sun. Elisa Quintana, NASA's Research Scientist IN: 17:54 KEPLER 186 IS NOW A PLANET CLOSEST IN SIZE TO EARTH IN HABITABLE ZONE OF ITS STAR, KEPLER 186 IS SPECIAL BECAUSE WE ALREADY KNOW A PLANET OF THIS SIZE IN A HABITABLE ZONE IS CAPABLE OF SUPPORTING LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. 18:10 In this animation, the new planet is the green dot. It is one of five planets revolving around a distant star called Kepler 186. TOM BARCLAY, NASA RESEARCH SCIENTIST 26:18 KEPLER 186F ORIBITS A COOLER STAR THAN THE SUN SO ITS PERHAPS MORE OF EARTH'S COUSIN THAN EARTH'S TWIN . IN: 22:13 KEPLER 186 WILL EXHIBIT MORE TRANSIT IT WILL GO AROUND THE STAR MORE THAN TIMES THAN EARTH WOULD, KEPLER 186 GOES AROUND ITS STAR 130 DAYS EARTH GOES AROUND EVERY 365 DAYS 22:28 The Kepler Space Telescope discovered the planet but the W.M. Keck Observatory and Gemini Observatory on top of Mauna Kea played a crucial role in confirming the data. GREG WIRTH, KECK ASTRONOMER IN: 09:46 WE LEARNED FROM THE KEPLER TEAM THAT THERE WAS A SUSPECTED PLANET GOING AROUND IT AND WE USED OUR ADAPTIVE OPTIC SYSTEM, SHARPER THAN EVEN THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE TO TAKE THESE PCITURES THAT SHOWED THERE WAS NO BACKGROUND OBJECT THAT POSSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR THIS IS A PLANET 10:09 Kepler 186 F is about 500 light years away from our planet. To put that in perspective, it would take more than 2 million years using one of NASA's spacecraft to get to this distant planet. Scientists believe the planet which is several billion years old doesn't have a moon and is most likely rocky. NASA believes there may be other habitable planets in the universe. So this unique discovery begs the question, are we really on the only planet with living beings. Cam Tran, KITV 4 News. There are still plenty of unanswered questions about the planet, like if it has an atmosphere or one that will sustain life. Scientists will continue searching space to see if there are other planets out there like Earth.