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First Earth-sized planets netted

Planet hunt finds two orbs of terrestrial proportions orbiting a distant sunlike star

1:10pm, December 20, 2011

The newest exo-apples of the planet-hunting Kepler space telescope’s unblinking eye are two rocky, Earth-sized planets hovering around Kepler-20, a sunlike star 950 light-years away.

Though snuggled too close to their star to be habitable, these first Earth-sized worlds confirmed by the Kepler team are another big step forward for the planet hunters, who recently found a planet somewhat larger than Earth orbiting a sunlike star at a distance hospitable to life. Finding habitable distant worlds — Earth-sized planets at the right distance from their stars to allow the presence of liquid water

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