Astronomers: Newly discovered planet may be able to support life
"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.