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The new discovery, named GJ1214b, measures up at about 6.5 times the size of our Earth wit...

Astronomers have proved that even the most basic technology can reveal significant developments in the heavens above. Using a simple ground-based telescope, a team from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) located a “super-Earth” orbiting a red dwarf star only 40 light-years away from Earth.  Read More

Astronomers find first habitable Earth-like planet

April 26, 2007 Astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, an exoplanet with a radius only 50% larger than the Earth and capable of having liquid water. Using the ESO 3.6-m telescope, a team of Swiss, French and Portuguese scientists discovered a super-Earth about 5 times the mass of the Earth that orbits a red dwarf, already known to harbour a Neptune-mass planet. The astronomers have also strong evidence for the presence of a third planet with a mass about 8 Earth masses. This exoplanet - as astronomers call planets around a star other than the Sun – is the smallest ever found up to now and it completes a full orbit in 13 days. It is 14 times closer to its star than the Earth is from the Sun. However, given that its host star, the red dwarf Gliese 581, is smaller and colder than the Sun – and thus less luminous – the planet nevertheless lies in the habitable zone, the region around a star where water could be liquid!  Read More

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