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Scientists find closest thing yet to Earth-sun twin system

July 23, 2015 Updated Thu., July 23, 2015 at 12 p.m.

This artist's rendering made available by NASA on Thursday, July 23, 2015 shows a comparison between the Earth, left, and the planet Kepler-452b. It is the first near-Earth-size planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a sun-like star, found using data from NASA's Kepler mission. The illustration represents one possible appearance for the exoplanet - scientists do not know whether the it has oceans and continents like Earth.

 ((NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle via AP))
This artist's rendering made available by NASA on Thursday, July 23, 2015 shows a comparison between the Earth, left, and the planet Kepler-452b. It is the first near-Earth-size planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a sun-like star, found using data from NASA's Kepler mission. The illustration represents one possible appearance for the exoplanet - scientists do not know whether the it has oceans and continents like Earth. ((NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle via AP))
By Marcia Dunn Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Scientists have identified the best bet yet for an Earth-like planet that might harbor life.

The researchers announced their discovery Thursday based on observations from NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

This older, bigger cousin to Earth is called Kepler-452b. What makes this planet remarkable is that it orbits its star at about the same distance that Earth orbits the sun. What’s more, its home star looks to be similar to our sun.

Scientists say it’s the closest thing we have to another Earth-sun twin system.

One unanswered question is whether the planet is rocky. Scientists say there’s a better than even chance it is.

The planet is in a solar system that is 1,400 light years from our own.

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