The Kepler space telescope has once again identified a promising Earth-like world around a distant star.
The newly discovered planet is only 1.5 times the diameter of the Earth and orbits in the habitable zone, the region in which the temperature is sufficient to allow liquid water to exist on the surface. The planet takes 242 days to orbit its star and is a bit closer to it than the Sun is to the Earth.
"It's a big deal," said astrophysicist Mario Livio. "It's definitely a good candidate for life." Kepler astronomer Natalie Batalha was also enthusiastic about the discovery. "This was very exciting because it's our fist habitable-zone super Earth around a sun-type star," she said.
"A possible alien planet discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope is the most Earth-like world yet detected beyond our solar system, scientists say."
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