Another nearby planet found that may be just right for life
Astronomers have found yet another planet that seems to have just the right Goldilocks combination for life: Not so hot and not so cold. It’s not so far away, either.
This new, big, dense planet is rocky, like Earth, and has the right temperatures for water, putting it in the habitable zone for life, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
It’s the fifth such life-possible planet outside our solar system revealed in less than a year, but still relatively nearby Earth. Rocky planets within that habitable zone of a star are considered the best place to find evidence of some form of life.
The first planet outside our solar system was discovered in 1995, but thanks to new techniques and especially NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope, the number of them has exploded in recent years. Astronomers have identified 52 potentially habitable planets and more than 3,600 planets outside our solar system.