This planet is about 60% larger than the Earth. Site Editor: Nasa's New Horizon probe - the one that recently took the amazing pictures of Pluto - left Earth's orbit faster than any other spacecraft before it, at around 36,373 mph. Jon Jenkins told the press conference: "The sunshine from Kepler's star is very similar to sunshine from our own star, and plants could be able to photosynthesise just the same. The planet's star, Kepler 452, is slightly bigger than our own Sun. Kepler-22b is the first extra-solar planet, or exoplanet, that the Kepler Space Telescope found in the habitable zone of its star. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.com. An artist's impression of Kepler 452b, the most Earth-like planet ever discovered, This image compares the size of Earth with the size of Kepler 452b, Kepler 452b was named after the telescope that spotted it, the Kepler space telescope, This artist's impression shows what the surface of Kepler 452b could look like, with active volcanoes and liquid water, The sweep of NASA Kepler mission’s search for small, habitable planets in the last six years, A graphic of the crafts that have carried out Exoplanet missions, This size and scale of the Kepler-452 system compared alongside the Kepler-186 system and the solar system. Scientists don’t know if Kepler-452b can support life. You could even get a healthy tan like here on holiday.". Kepler 452b has been the perfect distance from its star for many billions of years. No Jupiter analogue for Kepler-452b might mean no water and therefore, no recognisable life. A year on the newly-discovered planet - the time it takes to orbit its star, Kepler 452 - lasts for 385 days, only 20 days longer than a year here on Earth. Due to its size and age, it's likely that it is a rocky planet, meaning it could have a volcanic system under its surface. It's the closest so far. Kepler-442b may have oceans. Until its discovery in 2015, the Kepler telescope had only detected 12 Earth-size planets (smaller than twice the size of Earth) in the habitable zone of their smaller and cooler stars. Kepler-452b probably has a thick atmosphere, liquid water and active volcanoes, but these are best guesses based on modeling work. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. It is the smallest planet yet discovered that orbits in the habitable zone around a sun-like star. It's slightly warmer than Earth, slightly larger, could have liquid water on the surface and it's 1,400 light years away, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. The newly discovered Kepler-452b is the smallest planet to date discovered orbiting in the habitable zone — the area around a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet — of a G2-type star, like our sun. Kepler 452b is possibly the right temperature to allow liquid water to exist on the surface - as far as we know, this is essential for supporting life. This means plants from our planet could grow there if it were rocky and had an atmosphere. However, there is uncertainty about the size, and, given the fact that we know nothing about the composition (and hence density) of Kepler-452b, these figures are at best crude estimates. 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