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Planets Large and Small Populate Our Galaxy (Infographic)

Astronomers searching for another Earth are getting closer, thanks to recent discoveries by the Kepler space telescope.
Astronomers searching for another Earth are getting closer, thanks to recent discoveries by the Kepler space telescope. (Image credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor)

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Astronomers have discovered more than 700 alien planets beyond the solar system, and the count is rising all the time. Some are large and hot, and others are smaller and cooler, but scientists are still on the lookout for an Earth twin.

They just got closer, with the announcement Dec. 5 of a planet found by NASA's Kepler space telescope to lie in the habitable zone around its star where liquid water, and perhaps life, could exist.

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Karl Tate
Karl's association with SPACE.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. Starting in 2010, Karl has been TechMediaNetwork's infographics specialist across all editorial properties.  Before joining SPACE.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating  news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Karl on Google+.

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