NASA’s Kepler mission discovers Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone around a sun-like star. 425b is located about 1,400 light years away in the Constellation Cygnus, orbiting a star slightly brighter than the sun. The planet is about 60% larger than Earth and about 1.5 billion years. There is no evidence that it has an atmosphere.
We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment. It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent six billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.