A team of scientists using an observatory in Chile have discovered an Earth-like planet at a distance of 11 light years.
The discovery was revealed by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) yesterday, Wednesday 15th November, after more than 10 years of intensive space monitoring.
Astronomers say the new planet’s warm and rocky environment may support life.
This earth-like planet the second-closest planet to be detected outside the solar system with surface temperatures potentially similar to planet Earth.
The newly discovered planet is about the same size and temperature as Earth and revolves around a so-called “quiet star”, so it does not get blasted with harmful radiation.
The planet can’t be observed directly and it’s hard to say whether an atmosphere or water exist, but it gives scientists important clues about potential life outside the solar system.
This latest revelation comes after NASA discovered, earlier in the year, a solar system with seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star with the potential of supporting life.
In June, the US space agency also announced the discovery of 10 rocky, Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way Galaxy that could potentially have liquid water and support life.
To date, NASA’s exoplanet archive includes more than 3,000 alien worlds. That means there are over 3,000 different planets orbiting their corresponding host stars.
Most are uninhabitable but there are a few dozen “earth twins” that from a distance look like our own.