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In the film Another Earth, the premise revolves around the discovery of another planet that’s practically identical to earth. Slowly it’s revealed that this planet houses other versions of ourselves, and the rest of the film explores what this discovery means for those of us on this earth who are struggling with demons, searching for new beginnings, and, well, another life on another earth. But how close are we to really discovering another earth? According to NASA, a lot closer than you think.
NASA has just announced the discovery of the most earthlike planet on record, Kepler-22b (or Earth 2.0), a planet that’s 2.4 times the size of our own and the first we’ve found that orbits a sun-like star within what we’ve labeled as the “habitable zone” (or “Goldilocks zone”), which means the conditions may be ideal for maintaining liquid and possibly life depending on what the weather is like. Or, as Goldilocks would say, “Are the conditions too cold, too hot, or just right?”
Unfortunately for those of us who just watched Another Earth on DVD or Blu-ray and now desperately want to travel to a new earth to start a new life, as it stands — with our current technology — it would take around 600 years to travel to Earth 2.0, and that’s at lightspeed. Then, it would take another 600 years to send back images from the planet. So, yeah, if you have the patience to wait 1200 years, then you may be rewarded with an image of water.
Regardless of how far away it is, that hasn’t stopped folks from creating concept images of what this planet may look like based on what we know about it. Check out a couple in this post, with some more over at io9.