Newly discovered Planet may be habitable.
Astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have discovered a new earth-sized planet. The new planet is orbiting a nearby star at a distance that would make it a habitable and liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. The Gliese 581 is located 20 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra.
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"Our findings offer a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet," said Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. "The fact that we were able to detect this planet so quickly and so nearby tells us that planets like this must be really common."
The findings are based on 11 years of observations at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. "Advanced techniques combined with old-fashioned ground-based telescopes continue to lead the exoplanet revolution," said Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution. "Our ability to find potentially habitable worlds is now limited only by our telescope time."
If the research is confirmed then this would be the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered and the first strong case for another earth.
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More details about this new discovery can be found in this report on the University of California site.