“Today, Earth is a little less lonely,” Kepler researcher Jon Jenkins said. According to NASA, the Kepler spacecraft has spotted “Earth’s bigger, older cousin”. This discovery is the first Earth-sized planet to be found in a habitable region of a star similar to our own. According to Jenkins, The newly discovered planet had “substantial opportunity for life to arise”

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The $600 million Kepler mission first launched in 2009 with the intention on gathering data on a portion of the Milky Way for habitable planets. Today, NASA is one step closer to their goal with the discovery of planet Kepler-452b.

So far scientist know a few things about the planet. It is 1,400 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. Although it is 60% bigger than Earth it is located within it’s star’s habitable zone. This means that life-sustaining water is possible on the surface of the planet.

NASA has found other planets in the habitable zones prior to Keler-452b but they’ve been either too big or too close to their stars to support life.

Kepler-452b is farther away from it’s star than Earth is to the sun, however it’s star is brighter so the planet can receive the same amount of energy. According to Jenkins the sunlight would be similar to Earth’s.

The new planet is believed to have a thicker atmosphere than Earth and the gravity would be about twice that of earth but it also has a great chance of having a rocky surface and even active volcanoes.

Jenkins siad, “It takes 385 days for the planet to orbit its star, very similar to Earth’s 365-day year, and because it’s spent so long orbiting in this zone — 6 billion years — it’s had plenty of time to brew life,” he added, “That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

Would you want to live on the new planet Kepler-452b? Sound off in the comments.

Source CNN