National Geographic Society

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Finding the Next Earth

Kepler 10b is the first rocky planet nearly the same size as Earth.  The day side of the planet shown here thought to be molten and covered by a giant, hemispheric lava ocean. There is nothing on Earth like this lava ocean.

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Join astronomers as they enter the final lap in a race to find a planet capable of sustaining life, a world like ours, the next Earth. See the launch of France's CoRot and America's Kepler missions, and the smoking hot worlds they discover. See a controversial and tantalizing discovery of a planet where life could exist in a strange twilight zone, that is, if the planet really exists. Astronomers are working to determine what conditions are necessary for life to exist, and they are building the radical James Webb Space Telescope, a spacecraft that can look at the atmosphere around a planet and reveal whether or not life as we know it actually exists. It could be the greatest discovery in human history and it could change how we see ourselves.