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23 July 2015
Meet Earth 2.0: Kepler 452b: The planet most similar to our own ever found with a 'substantial opportunity' for life
Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, but its 385-day orbit is only 5 per cent longer. The planet is 5 per cent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the sun. Kepler-452 is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun, has the same temperature, and is 20 percent brighter and has a diameter 10 per cent larger. '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, who led the team that discovered Kepler-452b. '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.'