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Report: Scientists Find Earth-Sized Planet That Could Hold Life

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A group of academics has identified a planet that could potentially support life.

They’re describing Gliese 12 b as a planet within the habitable zone of its own solar system.

The planet orbits a red dwarf star 40 light years away from the Earth in the Pisces constellation.

University College of London scientist Larissa Palethorpe co-led the research into the planet with University of Southern Queensland astrophysicist Shishir Dholakia, according to Space.com.

The team used NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to identify the world.

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The planet orbits a red dwarf star, a celestial body far smaller than the Earth’s sun, according to NASA.

As a result, scientists view the “habitable zone” of red dwarf stars as far closer to them than that of Earth’s sun.

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One year on Gliese 12 b lasts just under thirteen days, but it’s thought the world could have a surface temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit — comparable to a summer day in Arizona or Texas.

These conditions could be amenable to the existence of liquid water.

Palethorpe spoke of the discovery’s significance.

“To find it to be such a similar size to Earth was kind of a lovely surprise.”

“So that was a really nice thing to be able to nail down, but I think especially knowing that, in terms of habitability, it could lie between Earth and Venus, is really exciting.”

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In spite of the planet’s potential for supporting life, mankind has no way to accurately survey the distant world yet, according to Palethorpe.

“I think Gliese 12 b will teach us a lot about life, but we can’t say anything for certain.”

“It’s not a bad place to start on a hunt for life.”

The team of academics behind the research are affiliated with numerous universities and institutions across the globe.

They published their research in a monthly notice of the Royal Astronomical Society on Friday.


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