Big news this morning from NASA’s planet hunting mission.
On what’s so special about Kepler 452B:
“[Kepler 452B] is one of the most earth like planets ever discovered. It’s important because these planets are still very rare. We still don’t know how frequently Earth like planets are in the galaxy. And that of course determines whether we have are optimistic that there is extraterrestrial life out there or not. That was the prime science goal of the Kepler mission to determine exactly how frequent those earth size planets are.”
On Kepler 452B’s similarities with Earth:
“Kepler 452B is about 1.6 times the size of Earth. It’s almost in identical orbit to our Earth. That’s very important because there is only a certain distance that you can be from your star where the temperatures are just right to have a habitable world. That’s why we call it the habitable zone… Currently this planet is right at the edge of our most conservative estimates of the habitable zone… [Kepler 452B] is basically where everything matches. Not only is the planet as close as possible to the Earth but also the sun. The star is very closely resembling our sun by probably a few billion years old…maybe a couple of billion years old.”