It seems that scientist have discovered a planet that is similar to Earth and is sitting outside our solar system in what seems to be the ideal place for life, except for one little problem. It’s way too big for life to exist on the surface. Huh? 

The planet is in the middle of what astronomers call the Goldilocks zone, a hard to find place that’s not too hot, not too cold, where water, which is essential for life, doesn’t freeze or boil. And it has a shopping mall-like surface temperature of near 72 degrees, scientists say.

The planet is about 2.4 times the size of Earth. It could be more like the gas-and-liquid Neptune with only a rocky core and mostly ocean.

The new planet — named Kepler-22b — has key aspects it shares with Earth. It circles a star that could be the twin of our sun and at just about the same distance. The planet’s year of 290 days is even close to ours. It likely has water and rock.

The planet is 600 light years away. Each light year is 5.9 trillion miles. It would take a space shuttle about 22 million years to get there.

Kepler spots a planet when it passes in front of its star. NASA requires three of those sightings before it begins to confirm it as a planet.

Astronomy has always intrigued me. Growing up it was not unusual for my Dad to wake us kid's up to check out something he had seen on our telescope. I think my Dad would have made a great Astronaut. He  has so much knowledge about it, and passion too.