SCIENCE

Kepler Telescope Discovers A New Earth-Like Planet

 

Update: 12:18 p.m. -- NASA's Kepler mission team revealed during a teleconference (above) that an alien planet similar to Earth, named Kepler-452b, has been discovered in the "habitable zone" of a sun-like star. The planet was called a "bigger, older cousin to Earth." Read more here.

 

 EARLIER:

NASA's Kepler mission team will announce a new discovery in a teleconference today at 12 p.m. EDT, which you can watch live in the video above.

The $600-million Kepler mission, launched in 2009, aims to survey the Milky Way for nearby Earth-like planets. So far, more than 1,000 alien worlds have been discovered.

Scientists and space enthusiasts alike are speculating that the announcement will reveal the discovery of the most Earth-like alien planet yet found.

Mike Butcher, editor-at-large of TechCrunch, tweeted that this new world has already been named: 

Meanwhile, NASA has deemed this "the week for exoplanets," which hints at a possible new discovery.

 According to Space.com, participants in the teleconference will be John Grunsfeld, an associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington; Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.; Jeff Coughlin, a Kepler research scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif.; and Didier Queloz, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Cambridge in England.

 Stay tuned.

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