X

Newfound 'Super-Earth' Might Support Life

It's one of 50 new exoplanets found by European telescope
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2011 2:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – A telescope at the European Southern Observatory has spotted 50 new exoplanets—and one of them is a so-called "super-Earth" that might just be habitable, Live Science reports. The telescope actually found 16 super-Earths—potentially rocky worlds sporting more mass than our beloved home world—but one designated HD 85512 b stands out because it orbits within the edge of its star’s theoretically habitable zone.

story continues below

The planet is relatively small, at 3.6 times more massive than Earth, and relatively close, at a mere 35 light-years away. Researchers think that with more study they can determine if there’s a possibility the planet harbors water. “This is the lowest-mass confirmed planet discovered … that potentially lies in the habitable zone of its star,” an exoplanet expert says. “I think we’re in for an incredibly exciting time. … We’re actually going out there to discover brand new worlds.” (Read more exoplanet stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X