About 500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus lives a star, which, though smaller and redder than the sun, has a planet that may look awfully familiar.
With a diameter just 10 percent bigger than Earth's, the newly found world is the first of its size found basking in the benign temperature region around a parent star where water, if it exists, could pool in liquid form.
Scientists on the hunt for Earth's twin are focused on worlds that could support liquid surface water, which may be necessary to brew the chemistry of life.
From Laughing Squid:
Astronomers have discovered what may be a Thorne–Zytkow object (TZO), a binary star system where a neutron star is enveloped by a red giant or supergiant star. TZO's were first theorised in 1977 by Kip Thorne and Anna Zytkow. On June 4th, 2014 a team of astronomers led by Emily Levesque that included Zytkow published a paper identifying red supergiant star HV 2112 in the Small Magellanic Cloud as a possible TZO candidate.
Super-bright galaxies powered by black holes have helped astronomers come up with the most accurate distance yet to the iconic Pleiades star cluster.
The measurement, which used quasars as bright and consistent relative-distance markers, charted the famous "Seven Sisters" star cluster at 136.2 parsecs, or 444 light-years, away from Earth.