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Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Space..The Final Frontier
Its surface is a comfortable 22C (72F), while the star it orbits could almost be a twin of the Sun, the space agency claims.
As it was spotted in the so-called ‘habitable zone’, Kepler-22b probably has water and land – making it the best target for life.
Kepler principal investigator Bill Borucki (Picture: Getty)
'We have now got good planet confirmation with Kepler-22b,' said Bill Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at Nasa's Ames Research Center.
'We are certain that it is in the habitable zone and, if it has a surface, it ought to have a nice temperature.
'Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet.'
While Kepler-22b is similar Earth, it is 2.4 times the size, putting it in class known as 'super-Earths'. It's orbit around its star is approximately 290 days long, slightly shorter than our own.
'This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth's twin,' said Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at Nasa headquarters in Washington.
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