Astronomers have discovered what they call an “Earth-likeplanet” orbiting a distant star. They feel they are finallygetting close to a possible discovery of alien life. Theyare searching for another relatively small, rocky planetwhere temperatures are neither too hot or too cold for lifeto exist.
Most of the planets we discover are huge, gaseous planetslike Jupiter, because these are easy to see. However, we nowknow that a large outer planet may indicate that there is ahabitable planet in the inner orbit of a solar system,because the large planet absorbs the blows from dangerousasteroids.
The new planet is five times the size of Earth and isunlikely to have life on it, because it’s probably coveredwith frozen oceans. So why astronomers so excited? Becausethis discovery shows that it’s possible to spot Earth-likeplanets around distant suns, meaning the day may not be toofar off when we will discover alien life.
Art credit: NASA, ESA
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