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New exoplanet: big Earth or small Neptune?
If Kepler 452b applied for the position of most Earthlike exoplanet, it would boast an impressive resume. The newly discovered world (illustrated, top right) mimics our planet with a 385-day orbit around a sunlike star (see Page 16). But there's a hitch: Kepler 452b may not be made of rock. The planet is about 1.6 times as wide as Earth, and researchers couldn't measure its mass. As a result, nobody knows if water on Kepler 452b has a solid surface on which to pool.
Kepler 452b is a...
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