A planet may be habitable just 42 light years away from Earth, scientists have found.
The alien planet may be capable of supporting life as we knew it, Space.com reported, and relatively speaking is within the same cosmic neighborhood as Earth. The planet, called a “super-Earth,” is also known as HD 40307g.
Scientists who discovered HD 40307G believe the planet may be habitable because it has the ability to contain liquid water. Because it is so close, scientists believe they can lock in on the planet with telescopes to determine if it truly is habitable.
“The longer orbit of the new planet means that its climate and atmosphere may be just right to support life,” said Hugh Jones, of the University of Hertfordshire in England, co-author of a study on the habitable planet. “Just as Goldilocks liked her porridge to be neither too hot nor too cold but just right, this planet or indeed any moons that it has lie in an orbit comparable to Earth, increasing the probability of it being habitable.”
That planet that may be habitable was one of three discovered in 2008 orbiting an orange star called HD 40307, Discovery News noted. While the other two are too close to the star and could not contain water in a liquid state, HD 40307G is believed to be right in what is known as the “habitable zone.”
The discovery that the planet may be habitable would be another amazing galactic finding in the last few weeks. In October scientists noted that they found a planet similar in size to earth both in location and size.