New Delhi: European astronomers have discovered an earth-like planet outside the solar system. The planet has earth-like temperatures that could support water and possibly life.
This new planet is just 20.5 light-years away, short distance by astronomical standards. Researchers describe this on Tuesday as giant step in the search for life in the universe.
"This is the most earth like planet yet, even if it is not earth,” says astrophysicist, Steve Maran.
The planet is just the right size and might have water in liquid form. The colour of the light coming from the planet can give hints of whether water, or perhaps large amounts of plant life exist on it.
“It is an incremental advance in what we're learning about planets and stars,” says Maran.
The planet was discovered by the European Southern Observatory's telescope in La Silla in Chile.
The results of the discovery have not been published but have been submitted to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.