Kepler 452-b

NASA announced today that researchers have discovered Kepler 452-b, a rocky world, 1.6-times larger than Earth, orbiting a G-type star at almost exactly the same distance that we orbit the sun, placing it in the habitable zone. It’s located approximately 1,400 light-years away, and orbits a star that is 4% more massive and 10% brighter than our Sun. “If Kepler 452b is indeed a rocky planet, its location vis-a-vis its star could mean that it is just entering a runaway greenhouse phase of its climate history. Kepler 452b could be experiencing now what the Earth will undergo more than a billion years from now, as the Sun ages and grows brighter,” said Doug Caldwell, a SETI Institute scientist working on the Kepler mission. Continue reading for the two videos, including a news report.

“Its orbit, 384.84 Earth days and 5% more distant than our planet is from the Sun, places it right in its star�s habitable zone, where it is not too hot or cold for liquid water to form: the same region Earth is in around the Sun. This is not the first Earth-sized planet found in a habitable zone; last year, the world was abuzz with the discovery of Kepler 186f, more similar in size to Earth. But that planet orbited a red dwarf star, smaller and cooler than the Sun. Kepler 452b, excitingly, orbits almost an exact clone of the Sun,” reports IFL Science.