New planet discovered; but can it sustain life?

Posted By: Samyuktha
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New Planet
California, Oct 1: Mankind's search for a planet similar to that of Earth may have reached a happy ending as scientists have discovered a planet orbiting a red-dwarf star called Gliese 581 g, which they believe may have the capability to sustain life.

The Glieses 581 g, which dwells in the Libra constellation, is located about twenty light years away from Earth. The hope of life on the new planet emerged from the discovery of liquid water on its surface.

According to the scientists, the planet is located in the 'Goldilock"s zone' of it"s star, which allows for surface temperatures to remain in the right zone to harbor liquid water.

Besides this, the planet also potentially could have an atmosphere, said the experts.

The discovery of Gliese 581 was announced in the Astrophysical Journal by Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution in Washington.

The study was conducted by a team of planet hunters from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The 11-year-long observation was conducted at the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

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