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Astronomers discover "cousin" of Earth orbiting distant star
Posted: Fri, Jul 24, 2015, 2:35 PM ET (1835 GMT)
Kepler-452b illustration (NASA) Astronomers announced Thursday the discovery of a "bigger, older" cousin of the Earth orbiting a distant star, making the planet the closest analog found to date of the Earth. The planet, Kepler-452b, orbits a Sun-like star 1,400 light-years from the Earth in its habitable zone. The planet is about 60 percent larger than the Earth, and scientists estimate it may weight about five times the Earth, but acknowledge they have no information on the planet's mass or composition, or if the planet could be hospitable to life. The planet, though, is the most similar to the Earth found to date in terms of its size, orbit, and the type of star it is orbiting, raising the prospects that many more such planets exist in the galaxy.
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