Saturday, February 4, 2012

Planet found at perfect spot for life - in solar system with three suns

Scientists have found a planet about 4.5 times the mass of Earth that orbits in the heart of its star's habitable zone, with two other suns orbiting much farther away. Is there water or the potential for life? Perhaps. But the planet could also be a two-faced world of scorching sun and perpetual ice.   

By Pete SpottsStaff writer / February 2, 2012
An artist's conception of the alien planet GJ 667Cc, which is located in the habitable zone of its parent star.
Carnegie Institution for Science

A newfound planet only 22 light-years away represents the best candidate yet for hosting liquid water on its surface, according to a team of astronomers announcing the find Thursday.

The planet has 4.5 times Earth's mass and orbits in the heart of its star's habitable zone – the region where water could remain stable on an orbiting planet's surface. Liquid water is a necessary ingredient for organic life.



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