Earth 2.0 Could Be Six Billion Years Old

452b_artistconcept_comparisonwithearthWhat kind of life could have risen and fallen on a six billion year old planet?

NASA scientists discovered Kepler-452b, a planet 1,400 light years away from our planet. It has the potential to be “Earth 2.0,” a planet orbiting within the “habitable zone” of a star that resembles our sun.

In the image above, you can see how Earth (left) measures up beside Kepler-452b.

The planet is probably rocky, measuring 60 percent larger than Earth to make it a super-Earth-size planet. It has a 385-day orbit around its sun, and is the 4,696th planet discovered during NASA’s 20-year long mission to discover habitable planets.

Astronomers still do not know the “mass and composition” of the planet, but NASA data analyst Jon Jenkins offered a provocative assessment:

“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 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.”

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