This artist's concept depicts Kepler-62f, a planet 1.4 times the size of Earth that circles in the habitable zone of its host star. The small shining object at right is Kepler-62e, another potentially habitable world in the five-planet system.
Astronomers are closer than ever to finding a true alien Earth, though the process may be slowed by budget cuts, scientists told members of Congress Thursday (May 9).
Officials from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute gave testimony to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee about the state of exoplanet research, saying researchers were closing in on planets around other stars that are the same size and distance from their suns as Earth.
"Within the next few years, we will have the privilege of answering this age-old question: In the universe, is there anywhere else like home?" said Laurance Doyle, principal investigator for the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute. [6 Ways to Discover Alien Planets]
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