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Astronomers Confirm Existence Of Earth-Like Planet

A NASA artist's conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.
U.S. space agency NASA says astronomers have confirmed the existence of an Earth-like planet outside our solar system.

The exoplanet, named Kepler 22-b, is about 2.4 times the size of Earth and has an estimated temperature of about 22 Celsius. It is about 600 light-years distant from Earth.

Whether Kepler 22-b is composed mainly of rock, gas, or liquid remains unclear.

The planet, which was first glimpsed in 2009, was one of 54 exoplanet candidates in habitable zones reported by the astronomers using the Kepler telescope earlier this year, and is just the first to be confirmed using other telescopes.

compiled from agency reports