First 'Alien Earth' Will Be Found in 2013, Experts Say
The first truly Earth-like alien planet is likely to be spotted next year, an epic discovery that would cause humanity to reassess its place in the universe.
While astronomers have found a number of exoplanets over the last few years that share one or two key traits with our own world — such as size or inferred surface temperature — they have yet to bag a bona fide "alien Earth." But that should change in 2013, scientists say.
"I'm very positive that the first Earth twin will be discovered next year," said Abel Mendez, who runs the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.
More exoplanets than expected in the first year of the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. Image released Dec. 6, 2012.
CREDIT: PHL @ UPR Arecibo, ESA/Hubble, NASA
by Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior WriterDate: 27 December 2012 Time: 05:00 AM ET