By Mike Wall
The "most Earthlike exoplanet" rankings will have to be revised.
Today (April 17), astronomers announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, the first truly Earth-size alien planet ever found in a star's "habitable zone" — that just-right range of distances where liquid water could exist on a world's surface.
Kepler-186f is a rocky world just 10 percent bigger than Earth that lies 490 light-years away. It's the outermost of five planets known to orbit Kepler-186, a red dwarf star that's considerably smaller and dimmer than our own sun. More than 70 percent of the Milky Way's 100 billion or so stars are red dwarfs. [9 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]
The Planetary Habitability Laboratory, run by the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, maintains a database of all exoplanets that may be capable of hosting life as we know it. . . .
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