Meet Earth’s cousin, Kepler-186f. Kind of wish this beauty was discovered on next week’s Earth Day, but you can’t win ’em all.

I cared enough to run into the SHK office shouting, “I’VE FOUND MY NEWS PIECE…WE’VE FOUND ANOTHER EARTH,” but that’s because I’m an excitable loser. You should care because you’re made of stardust, man. Now show me the extraterrestrials.

NASA Kepler-186f New Earth

NASA scientists announced Thursday the Kepler Space Telescope has found a planet within the Milky Way Galaxy that bears a striking resemblance to the one we call home. Quite possibly Kepler’s most badass exoplanet discovery since its 2009 launch, the Earth-like exoplanet is located 490 year-light years away, is about 10% larger than Earth and, most importantly, located in the “Goldilocks Zone,” just the right distance from its star that liquid water could exist (not too hot, no too cold kind of deal). This doesn’t necessarily mean it could support life, but it’s still kind of a big deal. This is why I Fucking Love Science.

Though the composition of Kepler-186f remains TBD, its discovery marks a major milestone in the mission to find potentially habitable planets in our solar system. Says Sara Seager, a smart person at MIT, “It’s a celebration of an announcement, kind of like when a baby is born.” In other words, you still need to recycle. We should probably learn to live on the planet where we evolved before we entertain the thought of inhabiting and ultimately destroying another.

New planet announcement > new celebrity baby-with-planet-like-name announcement. Who says there’s no good news anymore?

(Images via Wikepedia.org and PBS.org, i.e. possible in part by viewers like you…)

x more banter about the universe here x