Astronomers Discover a Planet Almost Identical to Earth

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Just over a week after astronomers boldly announced that they would discover an Earth twin elsewhere in the universe within the year, NASA's Kepler telescope spotted a pretty good candidate. Unglamorously named KOI 172.02 - KOI stands for Kepler Object of Interest - this planet is the most Earth-like planet astronomers have discovered yet. The differences are slight. It's roughly 50 percent larger than Earth and orbits a star that closely resembles our own sun at a distance that would make the surface of the planet habitable. (The size makes it a 'super Earth' rather than an 'Earth twin.') With an 242-day long year, it's slightly closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun but otherwise enjoys all of the same ideal conditions as we do, as far as astronomers can tell. 'This was very exciting because it's our fist habitable-zone super Earth around a sun-type star.'

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This could occur because Pion fusion is under deve... by Mark Goldes on Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 at 1:53:52 PM
already taken. Then again, that never stopped us!&... by molly cruz on Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 at 2:37:41 PM
no planet is going to be like the conditions on Ea... by David McCorquodale on Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 8:59:06 AM
Thank you, Kyle, for the wonderful and amazing thi... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 5:50:59 PM
It is my pleasure to do this. I am grateful that y... by Kyle McDermott on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 9:29:52 AM
Something wrong with this picture. Most of this is... by Burl Hall on Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 8:26:15 PM
"I also wonder how much of our seeing a dead unive... by Kyle McDermott on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 9:37:38 AM