Another nearby planet found that may be just right for life

In this artist tendering provided by M. Weiss Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a newly-discovered rocky exoplanet, LHS 1140b. This planet is located in the liquid water habitable zone surrounding its host star, a small, faint red star named LHS 1140. The planet weighs about 6.6 times the mass of Earth and is shown passing in front of LHS 1140. Depicted in blue is the atmosphere the planet may have retained. (M. Weiss Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Astronomers have found yet another planet that seems to have just the right combination to support life.
This new big planet is rocky, like Earth. It’s not so hot and not so cold. And it’s not so far away, either.

Harvard astronomer David Charbonneau said what makes this planet so exciting is that it is rocky and regularly passes in front of its star. That means in the next several years, new telescopes can spy its atmosphere in a targeted search for signs of life.

With this new discovery, astronomers have identified 52 potentially habitable planets and more than 3,600 planets outside our solar system.

The latest discovery is described Wednesday in the journal Nature. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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