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NASA scientists announced earlier today the Kepler spacecraft discovered a planet with characteristics very similar to the ones of Earth. From the look of the newly-discovered Kepler-452b, it looks like Earth’s “bigger , older cousin,” according to NASA. So, what else makes this discovery so interesting? Let’s find out.
Here is what we know about Kepler-452b:
- It’s 6 billion year old, just 1.5 older than the sun in our solar system
- It’s 60% larger in diameter than Earth. Let’s call Kepler-452b a super-sized Earth planet, but also it’s the smallest of all the ones discovered by the spacecraft.
- Same temperature.
- A 385-day orbit, just 5% longer than Earth’s.
- Distance & Location: 1,400 light-years away from Earth, located in the constellation Cygnus.
“We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment,” stated Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, who was in charge of the team that discovered Kepler-452b. “It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”
[Source]: NASA: NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth.