Date
19 October 2017
An artist's illustration compares Earth (left) with a planet beyond the solar system. Scientists say its conditions are remarkably similar to those of our planet. Photo: Reuters
An artist's illustration compares Earth (left) with a planet beyond the solar system. Scientists say its conditions are remarkably similar to those of our planet. Photo: Reuters

We’re not alone: NASA finds Earth-like planet in distant galaxy

There just might be life out there.

A distant planet remarkably similar to ours has been found orbiting a sun-like star in the dark, vast void.

US scientists who discovered it think it’s the best hope of finding life elsewhere in the universe, according to Reuters.

But before you get excited, get this: it’s 1,400 light years away and it appears more aspirational than real.

Astronomers think they’re both.

Using NASA’s Kelper space telescope, they spotted the planet, about 60 percent bigger than Earth, in the constellation Cygnus, inspiring gushes, naturally.

“In my mind, this is the closest thing we have to another planet like the Earth,” Jon Jenkins, a NASA scientist.

The planet, dubbed Kepler-452b, orbits a star that is about six billion years old, which makes our son relatively young at 4.6 billion years.

Kepler-452b is positioned about as far from its parent star as Earth is from the sun, completing an orbit in 385 days, compared to Earth’s 365-day orbit.

At that distance, surface temperatures would be suitable for liquid water, a condition critical for life.

Scientists previously have found Earth-sized planets orbiting in stars’ so-called “habitable zones” but those stars are cooler and smaller than the sun.

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