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Nasa Kepler telescope: Earth-like planet found

Kepler 452b artist impressionOther
The orbital period of Kepler 452b is very similar to that of Earth

A haul of 500 new planets discovered by Nasa's Kepler telescope includes a world sharing many characteristics with Earth.

Kepler-452b orbits at a very similar distance from its star, though its radius is 60% larger.

Mission scientists said they believed it was the most Earth-like planet yet.

Such worlds are of interest to astronomers because they might be small and cool enough to have liquid water on their surface - and perhaps be able to support life.

Nasa's science chief John Grunsfeld called the new world "Earth 2.0" and the "closest so far" to our home.

It is around 1,400 light years away from Earth.

What makes a planet?

Artist's impressions of exoplanetsNASA
Artist's impressions of exoplanets discovered by Kepler, alongside Earth. From left: Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, the just announced Kepler-452b, Kepler-62f, Kepler-186f and, finally, our planet