An artist’s impression of exoplanet Kepler-452b, which Nasa say is likely to be rocky, just like Earth
Kepler-452b is 60 per cent larger in diameter than Earth.
It is located about 1,400 light years away in the constellation Cygnus. Although it is larger, it is 385-day orbit is only 5 per cent longer.
The planet is 5 per cent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the sun.
It has the same temperature, and is 20 per cent brighter and has a diameter 10 per cent larger.
Its sun, Kepler-452, is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun.
Billions of stars in our galaxy have between one and three planets which could potentially support life, astronomers have estimated. The scientists came to the conclusion after calculating the chances of planets orbiting in the ‘Goldilocks zone’. This is the belt around a star where temperatures are ideal for liquid water to pool on a planet’s surface, and for alien life to exist.
Scientists used the same method that predicted the existence of the planet Uranus before it was discovered to calculate how many planets may orbit 151 stars seen by Kepler.
They predicted a total of 228 planets in the 151 systems and concluded that each system should have an average of one to three planets in the habitable zone.
This suggested that there could be billions of stars in the Milky Way with habitable zone planets where life could exist.