A group of astronomers who is looking for life outside our solar system, has discovered a trio of planets with potential for life orbiting a star under 40 light-years away.
The discovery is the best chance so far to find life outside our solar system, according to the research team, which published the study in the prestigious journal Nature.
The three planets are Earth-sized and orbit a dim dwarf star only 39 light years away from Earth.
– This is the first opportunity to find chemical traces of life outside our solar system, astrophysicist Michael Gillon, who headed the study, from the University of Liege, says.
New hunting ground
The discovery opens up a whole new “hunting ground” for habitable planets, he believes. Because the star is so close and so cold, astronomers can study the atomospheres of the three planets and eventually look for signs of life.
The planets probably also have Earth-like temperatures and are referred to as “potentially habitable” All in all, the discovery is a winning combination in the search for life outside our solar system, according to researcher and co-author of the study, Julien de Wit from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today