A new planet has been discovered in the "habitable zone."
According to NYC today, a new planet has been discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission. This planet, which is called Lepler-452b, is the smallest planet in a habitable zone that NASA has discovered. This “habitable zone,” refers to the radius of an orbit around a G2 type star that makes life possible. In the habitable zone, liquid water could collect on the surface of a planet.
John Grunsfeld, the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the NASA headquarters in Washington, reported that “On the 20th anniversary year of the discovery that proved other suns host planets, the Kepler exoplanet explorer has discovered a planet and star which most closely resemble the Earth and our Sun.”
He went on to say that this finding is a huge step in the mission to find a planet capable of sustaining human life. This potential second earth is larger than Earth by about 60 percent, and it has been described as a super-Earth-size planet. Although it is significantly larger than Earth, its 385-day orbit is only slightly longer than Earth’s, and it is only 5 percent further from Kepler-452, the star it orbits, than Earth is from the Sun. Although NASA hasn’t discovered the mass and composition of the planet, planets that are the size of Kepler-452b are likely to be rocky.