17:16 07 January 2014
Scientists, who were using the powerful Kepler space telescope, have stumbled upon a planet, which is now being dubbed by the press as Earth’s twin. The planet is in another solar system that is 200 light years away.
Called KOI-314c, it is the same weight as the Earth but it 60per cent larger. Unlike Earth though, the newly discovered planet cannot support most life forms with its surface temperatures estimated to be around 104C.
Lead astronomer Dr David Kipping, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the US, said: "This planet might have the same mass as Earth, but it is certainly not Earth-like.”
"It proves that there is no clear dividing line between rocky worlds like Earth and fluffier planets like water worlds or gas giants."
"When we noticed this planet showed transit timing variations, the signature was clearly due to the other planet in the system and not a moon.”
"At first we were disappointed it wasn't a moon, but then we soon realised it was an extraordinary measurement."
Evidence of the new planet was presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington DC.
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