Astronomers discover first possibly habitable exo-planet
A group of US-based scientists has discovered what might be the first habitable planet outside Earth's solar system, the University of California at Santa Cruz announced late Wednesday, dpa reported.
The team of planet hunters found an Earth-sized planet - three times the mass of Earth - in orbit around a nearby star at a distance where liquid water could exist on the surface.
Our findings offer a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet," said Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. "The fact that we were able to detect this planet so quickly and so nearby tells us that planets like this must be really common."
If the findings are confirmed by other astronomers, it would be the most Earth-like exo-planet yet discovered.
The team of scientists was led by astronomers from the University of California at Santa Cruz and the Carnegie Institution of Washington.