Scientists maybe confirm latest warm, wet, habitable exoplanet

Stop me if you've heard this before, but astronomers have used the Kepler planet huntin' space telescope to find the most (potentially) habitable alien planet yet.

Kepler-22b may be 600 light years away, but otherwise, it has just about all the right ingredients to make a nice little vacation spot. The planet is orbiting around a sun that's almost identical to our sun, and it's at nearly the same distance, smack in the middle of the "Goldilocks Zone" where it's not too hot and not too cold. It has a year that's 290 days long, and in a staggering cosmic coincidence, its surface temperature is estimated to be almost exactly room temperature.

So that's the good news.

The bad news (at least, if you're thinking of moving there), is that Kepler-22b is about 2.4 times the mass of Earth, which means that while you wouldn't be squished flat, you'd be seriously uncomfortable under the increased gravitational force. Also, at least one member of the Kepler team would "bet his telescope" (some serious astronomer smack talk right there) that Kepler-22b is more like Neptune than Earth. Even if this is the case, it could still have a rocky core with a liquid ocean (as opposed to a mostly gaseous makeup), which could allow for the possibility of some giant alien sea monsters which will immediately be offered contracts to appear in a Syfy Original Movie.

Further observations next summer should help astronomers figure out whether this planet is mostly gas or mostly rock, and as always, we'll keep you updated.

AP, via PopSci

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Thanks to Kevin, who is supposed to be on vacation, for the tip!