First they discovered Jupiter’s twin, now NASA has discovered Earth’s doppleganger titled ‘Kepler-452b’. Located in the constellation Cygnus, about 1,400 light years away, it is estimated to be about 60% larger in diameter than Earth. Scientists have yet to determine its mass and composition, although previous research of similar-sized planets insinuates its most likely to have a ‘rocky’ terrain. The new discovery brings the total number of confirmed planets to a whopping 1,030.
And that’s not the only exciting find. According to NASA, Kepler-452b is the smallest planet orbiting the habitable zone. Will this help Earth solve its space problems? Population control and dwindling resources no longer a concern?
In a statement, NASA said that the confirmation of Kepler-452b
“We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment,” said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, who led the discovery team. “It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009. The mission’s objective is to explore the structure and diversity of planetary systems.