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Most Earthlike planets yet seen bring Kepler closer to its holy grail

Compared with our world, globes are slightly larger and orbit a smaller star

They’re not quite Earth’s twins, but they might be its big sisters. Two planets slightly larger than Earth have been found by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. The planets circle their star at a distance seemingly just right for life. Detailed in research published April 18 in Science, the two planets are likely the first of many that, at least from a distance, look a whole lot like home.

“It’s just the tip of the iceberg,” says Sara Seager, an astronomer at MIT who was not part of the study. “When one type of object is found, there are many more just under the surface waiting to be discovered.”

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