The Kepler space telescope has confirmed its first-ever planet in a habitable zone outside our solar system.

(Spinning around its (sun like) star about 600 light years away, Kepler-22b is 2.4 times the size of the Earth, putting it in a class known as “super-Earths”, and has a year of 290 days.  The near-surface temperature is presumed to be about 22 degrees Celsius, but don’t pack your bags just yet, as scientists do not know whether the planet is rocky, gaseous or liquid, so you wouldn’t know what to pack – diving gear, climbing gear or breathing apparatus.

Kepler is NASA’s first mission in search of Earth-like planets orbiting suns similar to ours, and cost the US space agency about $US600 million, but it has already uncovered 1,094 more potential planets.  
They aren’t the only ones looking of course, French astronomers this year confirmed the first rocky exoplanet to meet key requirements for sustaining life. 
To infinity and beyond!  Cough cough – sorry, a bit of a Buzz Lightyear moment.)