Nasa space telescope finds 'twin' of Earth orbiting a distant Sun-like star
- 'This find will be remembered in 100 years time' - scientists
- First time a planet of this size has been detected
- Two planets, one earth-sized, one just smaller
- 'Important milestone' for Nasa's world-seeking Kepler telescope
Last updated at 7:05 PM on 20th December 2011
A rocky planet the same size as the Earth has been discovered orbiting a star like our sun.
It is the first time a planet of this size has been detected in another solar system. Scientists have hailed the technical achievement of detecting Earth sized ‘exoplanets’ - the technical term for planets outside the solar system - as it increases the chances of finding life-bearing worlds.
Although the planet, Kepler-20f could have a thick water-vapour atmosphere, its surface is believed to be too hot for life.
Kepler 20f has been hailed as a major discovery - it's the first earth-sized planet found orbiting a star like our own Sun
‘This could be an important milestone. I think 10 years or maybe even 100 years from now people will look back and ask when the first Earth-sized planet was found. It is very exciting,' says Dr Fessin
Both worlds circle their parent star closely with 'years' that last just nine and sixteen days respectively.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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