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Earth-size planet found with rocky core like ours

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Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 2:02 pm | Updated: 1:38 pm, Sat Nov 16, 2013.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Scientists have found a planet way out in the cosmos that's close in size and content to Earth — an astronomical first.

But hold off on the travel plans. This rocky world is so close to its sun that it's at least 2,000 degrees hotter than here, almost certainly too hot for life.

Astrophysicists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature that the exoplanet Kepler-78b appears to be made of rock and iron just like Earth. They measured the planet's mass to determine its density and content. It's actually a little bigger than Earth and nearly double its weight.

Kepler-78b is located in the Cygnus constellation hundreds of light-years away. Incredibly, it orbits its sun every 8½ hours.

Scientists used NASA's Kepler Space Telescope and ground observatories for the studies.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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