NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered three exoplanets that may be capable of supporting life, and one of them is perhaps the most Earth-like alien world spotted to date, scientists announced April 18.
That most intriguing one is called Kepler-62f, a rocky world just 1.4 times bigger than Earth that circles a star smaller and dimmer than the sun. Kepler-62f’s newfound neighbor, Kepler-62e, is just 1.6 times larger than Earth, making the pair among the smallest exoplanets yet found in their star’s habitable zone — the just-right range of distances where liquid water can exist on a world’s surface.
The third potentially habitable planet, called Kepler-69c, is 1.7 times bigger than Earth and orbits a star similar to the sun. It is the smallest world ever found in the habitable zone of a sunlike star, researchers said.