Kepler-1229b is a confirmed Super-Earth exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star, Kepler-1229, inside the habitable zone. It is the lone planet of the star system, located 770 light-years away from Earth in the Cygnus constellation. Discovered on May 12, 2016 by the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers discovered Kepler-1229b using the transit method, when a planet crosses in front of its host star, providing a brief dimming of the star to any telescope observing. Likely a rocky super-Earth, Kepler-1229b appears larger than Earth, though its mass remains unknown. The surface temperature rests at 213K (-60C, -76C so bring a jacket), calculated by the behavior of its orbit around the host star.

Kepler-1229b orbits its star about every 87 Earth days at a distance comparable to Mercury and the Sun. Kepler-1229,  a K-type red dwarf, is somewhere around 3.72 billion years old and cooler than our Sun.The red dwarf carries half the mass of our Sun, allowing the star to thrive five times longer than our Sun up to 50-60 billion years, a rather ideal lifespan for an aspiring civilization. As is a byproduct of red dwarf planetary systems, the planet may be tidally locked, with one side permanently facing the star, the other staring off into the Cosmos. In this event, the area between these two extreme environments could provide habitability, in a region called the terminator line, where a suitable temperature could allow liquid water to flow and life to prosper.

Officially confirmed in 2016 three years after its initial detection, the exoplanet and system remains too distant to determine its mass, composition, or existence of an atmosphere. The technology to analyze this exoplanet may take some time to develop.

Star: Kepler-1229
Constellation: Cygnus
Distance From Earth: 770 Light-years
Age: N/A
Habitable Zone: YES

Mass: Unknown
Planet Radius: 1.4⊕ (Super-Earth)

Orbital Period: 86.8 days
Temperature: 213K (-60C, -76C)

 

Discovery: May 12, 2016
Discoverer: Kepler Space Telescope

Discovery Method: Transit Method
Status: Confirmed