This artist’s illustration represents the variety of planets being detected by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Scientists now say that one in six stars hosts an Earth-size planet.
CREDIT: C. Pulliam & D. Aguilar (CfA)

Alien Earth: What It Will Mean to Find Our Planet’s Twin

by Clara Moskowitz, SPACE Assistant Managing Editor
Date: 09 January 2013 Time: 07:30 AM ET

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Finding Earth 2.0 is just a matter of time, and the discovery will likely transform the way we think about our place in the cosmos, astronomer Natalie Batalha said Tuesday (Jan. 8).

Batalha is a co-investigator for NASA’s Kepler telescope, a planet-hunting mission that has uncovered 2,740 potential alien worlds in just the few years since its 2009 launch. Though Kepler has found some Earth-size planets, and others in the habitable zones around their stars that could allow them to harbor liquid water, none of them are true Earth twins. But that’s likely soon to come.

“That is certainly the big picture goal, that is what NASA is aiming to do, to find the next Earth and ultimately to find other life in the galaxy,” Batalha said here at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Read more: Alien Earth: What It Will Mean to Find Our Planet's Twin | Kepler & Earth-like Exoplanets | Space.

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