The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, orbits smack in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our own.
Previous research had hinted at the existence of such Earth-like planets, where liquid water could exist, but this is the first time such a life-friendly alien planet has been confirmed.
The planet is about 2.4 times wider around than Earth. It’s still unknown whether Kepler-22b has a rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a milestone to finding Earth-like planets.
“This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin,” Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington said