NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star, the agency announced Thursday. “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,” said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, who led the discovery team. "It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 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.”
This is fascinating. It was not even 20 years ago there were those who were adamant that planets didn’t exist outside of our own solar system now we have located thousands of them. It’s only a matter of time until life on another planet is confirmed. We also have two spacecraft that have officially entered interstellar space. Just amazing stuff.