CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Scientists have found a planet way out in the cosmos that's close in size and content to Earth - an astronomical first.
But hold off on the travel plans. This rocky world is so close to its sun that it's at least 2,000 degrees hotter than here, almost certainly too hot for life.
Astrophysicists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature that the exoplanet Kepler-78b appears to be made of rock and iron just like Earth. They measured the planet's mass to determine its density and content. It's actually a little bigger than Earth and nearly double its mass, or weight.
Kepler-78b is located in the Cygnus constellation hundreds of light-years away. Incredibly, it orbits its sun every 8 1/2 hours, a mystery to astronomers who doubt it could have formed or moved that close to a star. They agree the planet will be sucked up by the sun in a few billion years, so its time remaining, astronomically speaking, is short.
More than 1,000 exoplanets - worlds outside our solar system - have been confirmed so far.
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, used to discover Kepler-78b, has identified 3,500 more potential candidates. The telescope lost its precise pointing ability earlier this year, and NASA has given up trying to fix it.
Scientific teams in the United States and Switzerland used ground observatories to measure Kepler-78b.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Spreading the briny substance has become second nature this winter. So just what makes it work so well?
An asteroid is headed this way, and it will be closer to the Earth than the moon.
It's been a long, hard winter. And now, the roads seem to be rebelling--breaking out in potholes seemingly overnight.
University of Cincinnati researcher and professor heads to eastern Ohio with cutting-edge tools and a public health mission.
An OSU study backs up what at least one local yoga student believes: That the ancient practice can do wonders for body and mind.
It's happening in The Cigar Galaxy (yes, there's a Cigar Galaxy) but Tri-State stargazers are missing out on the party.
An asteroid the size of three football fields skimmed by the Earth Monday night.
The Arctic isn't nearly as bright and white as it used to be because of more ice melting in the ocean, and that's turning out to be a…
The U.S. and 26 other countries began a new effort Thursday to prevent and fight outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases before they…
Bill Nye “The Science Guy” was grilled by Tri-State schoolchildren who asked about life after death, the scariest explosion…