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NASA Discovers First Earth-Sized Planet Orbiting Sun-Like Star

23 Jul 2015, 21:11 UTC
NASA Discovers First Earth-Sized Planet Orbiting Sun-Like Star
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NASA has discovered the first Earth-sized planet orbiting a star similar to the sun.

NASA announced on Thursday that astronomers using the Kepler space telescope have discovered the first Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone of a star similar to the sun. The planet is the closest analogue yet in what astronomers call their search for “Earth 2.0.”

The newly discovered planet, Kepler-452b, orbits its host star once every 385 days, making a year on the planet just over 20 days longer than a year on Earth. Kepler-452b resides within the habitable zone of its star, a region where liquid water can be sustained on the surface of planets. The planet is only five percent further away from its parent star than Earth is from the sun.

Kepler-452b orbits a star that is approximately 10 percent larger and 20 percent brighter than the sun. The star, known as Kepler-452, is the same temperature as the sun and shares the same classification as a G2-type star. Kepler-452b is the first planet of its kind to be discovered orbiting a sun-like star. Previously discovered Earth-sized planets found in the habitable zone of their system orbited stars that were much smaller and ...

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