Astronomers and scientists have just made a huge breakthrough in planetary knowledge and space exploration.
A new planet has just been discovered, and it is eerily similar to Earth in almost every way.
Called Ross 128b, the newly-discovered planet is both the same size and nearly the exact same temperature as Earth is, meaning this planet, which is located near a star similar to our sun that provides warmth, could potentially be habitable by humans.
This rockier Earth twin is the closest temperate planet ever discovered. And scientists are super excited to also discover that it orbits what is known as a "quiet star," which is a star that does not offer huge amounts of radiation or have massive solar flares that could harm life on planet Ross 128b.
At this point, scientists believe that the planet could support life. Slightly larger than Earth, this planet likely has a mostly rocky surface, and it rotates around its star at a way faster pace than earth — a year on planet Ross 128b lasts just 9.9 days.
The big question in the air is if this planet has an Earth-like atmosphere of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, three basic factors crucial to human life, water and vegetation.
At this time, scientists are also unsure if this planet falls in the habitable zone — which is the region where a planet is just warm enough for liquid water to exist on its surface.
This planet isn't the first of its kind, however — another Earth lookalike was discovered 4.2 light-years away. But, this planet, called Proxima B, rotates around a violent, fire-blazing star that would destroy the planet's atmosphere and blaze the planet frequently. So, doesn't look like humans will be moving there anytime soon.
And although thousands of exoplanets have and will continue to be discovered, scientists generally agree that this discovery is extremely unique thus far in planetary exploration and that no other planet like it has been found.