Spotting Earth’s Cousin in the Cosmos

7:34 minutes

In the journal Science, astronomers report finding the closest thing yet to our planetary twin: a planet just slightly larger in diameter than the Earth, orbiting the star Kepler 186 at a distance perfect for liquid water—if there is any water, that is. Study author Elisa Quintana, a research scientist at the SETI Institute and the NASA Ames Research Center, talks about how she detected this cosmic cousin, named Kepler 186f, and how we might determine what its surface is really like.

Segment Guests

Elisa Quintana

Elisa Quintana is a research scientist at the SETI Institute at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

Explore More