New planet discovered in habitable zone

By REUTERS
November 8, 2012 02:34

 
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LONDON - An Anglo-German team of astronomers has discovered a new planet orbiting a nearby sun at just the right distance for an Earth-like climate that could support life.

The team actually found three new planets orbiting the star 44 light years away, but only one of them is in the so-called Goldilocks Zone, the band around a sun where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist.

"The star HD 40307 is a perfectly quiet old dwarf star, so there is no reason why such a planet could not sustain an Earth-like climate," said Guillem Angla-Escude from Germany's University of Goettingen, who led the research with Mikko Tuomi at the University of Hertfordshire in Britain.

More than 800 planets have been discovered outside our solar system since the first was detected in the early 1990s, but only a handful of those have been in the habitable zone.

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