Scientists have discovered an Earth-size exo-planet in the habitable zone of its host star, the "Earth cousin" may have liquid water and be in just the right orbit to harbor conditions for life.
This artist illustration shows what it might be like to stand on the surface of the planet Kepler-186f, the first-ever Earth-size planet to be found in the habitable zone of its star.
The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA's Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. While the host star is dimmer than Earth's sun and the planet is slightly bigger than Earth, the positioning of the alien world coupled with its size suggests that Kepler-186f could have water on its surface, scientists say. You can learn more about the amazing alien planet find in a video produced by Space.com.
"One of the things we've been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com. "This [Kepler-186f] is an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cooler star. So, while it's not an Earth twin, it is perhaps an Earth cousin. It has similar characteristics, but a different parent." [10 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]