Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Earth-Like Planet Could Sustain Life, Scientists Claim

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New Earth-Like Planet Could Sustain Life, Scientists Claim

Potentially Habitable Planet Detected Around Nearby Star

By Mike Wall
www.space.com
12-19-12

      A sun-like star in our solar system's backyard may host five planets, including one perhaps capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports.

Astronomers have detected five possible alien planets circling the star Tau Ceti, which is less than 12 light-years from Earth — a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. One of the newfound worlds appears to orbit in Tau Ceti's habitable zone, a range of distances from a star where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface.

With a minimum mass just 4.3 times that of Earth, this potential planet would be the smallest yet found in the habitable zone of a sun-like star if it's confirmed, researchers said. . . .
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