PASADENA (CBS)— NASA announced a major milestone in the quest for life in the universe Monday: The discovery of another planet close enough to Earth that it could support life.
In the case of Kepler-22b, its star is similar to the sun, though it is slightly smaller and cooler. It takes the planet 290 days to orbit the star, according to NASA.
“This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin,” said Kepler program scientist Douglas Hudgins.
Astronomers don’t yet know if Kepler-22b is predominantly a rocky planet, such as Earth, or made up mostly of gases or liquids.
Kepler-22b is the first planet confirmed to be in a habitable zone found by Kepler so far.