For so many years people have wondered about the presence of life on other planets. While you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise in the face of content from Hollywood and the Sci-Fi writing community, there has been precious little to go on here in the real world.

BBC News reporting Kepler 452b.
Things changed at the end of July however when scientists completed work analyzing 4 years worth of data from the Kepler telescope. Kepler 452b, or “Earth 2.0” as it’s been popularly nicknamed had been found as “Earths closest twin outside the solar system”, described by NASA.
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“This is the first possibly rocky, habitable planet around a solar-type star,” said Jeff Coughlin, a Seti scientist. 11 similar sized previous discoveries had been ruled out for being in orbit around stars too small or cold to create the conditions necessary for sustaining life. “It is the closest thing we have to another place that somebody might call home” said Jon Jenkins, a Nasa scientist.

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The research suggests that Kepler 452b is 1.5billion years older than earth, 5 times the size and has gravity twice the power of Earth. Around 1400 light years away, it orbits a star similar to our sun at a similar distance, so has a similar length year. It also exists in the key “habitable zone”, where liquid water can exist on a planet.
This is all stuff that’s got the scientific community jumping, and for good reason. They’ve been looking for a planet that can sustain life for a very long time, and to have finally found one is a very exciting prospect.

It doesn’t mean that there is definitely life out there of course, and for all we know Earth 2.0 is home to absolutely nothing. Still, the rarity of such a planet scientifically and the fact that one hadn’t reared it’s head yet had made scientists doubt that such a discovery was ever coming along. To have found one is a rich discovery indeed. More in part 2!
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