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Here's everything we know about the recently discovered Earth 2.0

As you're perhaps well aware, yesterday, NASA and SETI declared the discovery of Earth's "older, bigger cousin". Called Kepler-452b, it's the first ever almost-Earth-sized planet that's been spotted in the habitable zone of a star very alike to our Sun, and the Internet is kind of freaking out about it. During the news conference, the researchers also declared the detection of 11 other habitable planet candidates, so what's so distinct about Kepler-452b? Well, we're happy you asked, because there's quite a lot. For beginners, this is our finest candidate so far for an 'Earth 2.0', and it might also be the ideal place to look for extraterrestrial life.
Image Credit: SETI Institute/Danielle Futselaar

Here's everything we know about Kepler-452b so far:
  • Kepler-452b is circling a star called Kepler-452, situated 1,400 light-years away in the Cygnus constellation of the Milky Way.
  • Kepler-452b is nearly 1.6 times bigger than Earth.
  • Earlier study shows that planets of this size "have a good chance" of being rocky, just like planet Earth.
  • Kepler-452b is circling a G2-type star, like our Sun.
  • The planet is in the habitable region, which means that it's far enough away from its sun that its water won't vaporize and close enough so that it won't freeze.
  • A year on Kepler-452b lasts nearly 385 days, so the planet is only 5 percent further from its star than Earth is from the Sun.
  • The planet is expected to have an atmosphere, lots of clouds, and probably active volcanoes.
  • Its parent star Kepler-452 is almost 6 billion years old (1.5 billion years older than our Sun).
  • Kepler-452 has the similar temperature, and is 20 percent brighter, and 10 percent larger in diameter than our Sun.
  • As it's circling a larger star, it's likely to be a little bit warmer than Earth.
All of this is quite exciting when you ponder the fact that NASA has spent decades bunting for a potential new home for humanity, but some of these points are worth importance further. Learn more about this discovery here.

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