NASA Finds Earth’s Cousin Planet in Habitable Zone

NASA said its Kepler spacecraft has spotted “Earth’s bigger, older cousin”: the first nearly Earth-size planet to be found in the habitable zone of a star similar to our own.

NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star.

The newly discovered Kepler-452b is the smallest planet to date discovered orbiting in the habitable zone — the area around a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet — of a G2-type star, like our sun. The confirmation of Kepler-452b brings the total number of confirmed planets to 1,030.

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