An extrasolar planet or exoplanet to a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun. Many astronomers assumed their existence, but lacked the means to identify them. The first confirmed detection was made in 1992, with the discovery of several planets of land mass orbiting the pulsar Lich. Currently more than a thousand have been detected.
But does that mean we are closer to finding extraterrestrial life? Which exosolar candidates are the most conducive to finding it? Then the top10, according to the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo.
Kepler-186F is the first exoplanet of similar size to Earth that has been found in the habitable zone of its star. It is 490 light years from Earth.
If your finding is confirmed, this rocky world is about 20 light years away from the Earth's sun, and is two to three times more massive than Earth.
The planet is at least 4.5 times larger than Earth, and needs 28 days to make an orbit around its mother star.
Kepler-22b is 2.4 times the size of the Earth and, assuming its greenhouse effect is similar to that of the Earth, it has an estimated surface temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius).
It is about 42 light-years from Earth. It orbits its star 56 million miles (90 million kilometers) away, which is just over half the Earth-Sun distance of 93 million miles (150 million kilometers).
This planet is approximately 3.6 times more massive than Earth. It is about 35 light-years from the Earth's sunlight. Researchers hope to one day find out if there is water on its surface.
Tau Ceti e
Tau Ceti e is an unconfirmed exoplanet, which could be orbiting the star Tau Ceti, at a distance of 11.9 light years. It is the fourth planet in the system by distance to its star. It is found in the constellation Cetus of the southern hemisphere. Considering the estimated values in terms of mass and radius, it could be both a super-earth and a mini-native.
The planet has seven times the mass of the Earth, which could mean that it is a large rocky planet or a giant of dwarf gas. It is located at a distance of 50 light years from Earth.
It is almost seven times more massive than Earth, orbits around a red dwarf star, and is a sister planet of the 581g Gliese, also potentially habitable. It is only 20 light years away from us.
Tau Ceti f
It is at least 6.6 times more massive than Earth. Together with Tau Ceti e, they are the closest exoplanets to the earth that are in the habitable zone of their star, if they had an atmosphere like Earth, their average temperature would be -40 ºC (233 K), too cold to house life, but since the planet is more than twice the size of the Earth, it could have a denser atmosphere, with a greater greenhouse effect.