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You are here News Science NASA's Kepler spacecraft spots planet 'somebody else might call home'

NASA's Kepler spacecraft spots planet 'somebody else might call home'

Kepler spavecraft finds earth twinScientists have spotted a planet much the same size as our Earth orbiting a star that closely resembles our sun, making this new world the most likely known place outside our solar system to harbor life.

The newfound planet, referred to as Kepler-452b, “is the closest thing we have to another place that somebody else might call home,” Jon Jenkins of NASA’s Ames Research Center told reporters Thursday. The planet has been at just the right temperature to boast liquid water for some 6 billion years, “a considerable time and opportunity for life to arise somewhere on its surface or in its oceans,” assuming the place has all the necessary ingredients for life, Jenkins said.

Researchers have found other planets outside the solar system that are nearly the same size as the Earth and that are probably rocky, as Earth is. But those planets circle dim, cool stars very different from our own sun, whereas 452b is hitched to a star very much like ours.

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