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Astronomers: Newly discovered planet may be able to support life

October 01, 2010
"If we discover life outside our planet, it would perhaps be the most significant discovery of all time,"
- Ed Seidel of the National Science Foundation

Astronomers have discovered a new planet that just may be able to support life in a nearby solar system a mere 20 light years from Earth.

t's called Gliese 581g and is located in the constellation Libra. It circles the red dwarf star Gliese 581.

According to a research that is set to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, the planet is "squarely in the middle of the habitable zone of the star" which offers a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet around a very nearby star.

When a planet falls in the "habitable zone" it means that it orbits the star at a distance that allows for the planet to have both liquid water and an atmosphere, two conditions that are considered important for life to exist.

Continue reading on CNN article opens in new window 
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