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New Earth-like planet found where a year lasts just under 10 days

The announcement was made by a team using an observatory in Chile.

An artist's impression of the planet.
An artist's impression of the planet.
Image: AP

ASTRONOMERS HAVE DISCOVERED a close new world about the size of Earth, where a year lasts just under 10 days.

At a distance of 11 light-years, Ross 128 b is the second-closest planet to be detected yet outside our solar system with surface temperatures potentially similar to ours.

Ross 128 b is very near its star, thus the short orbit. But it doesn’t get broiled because the red dwarf star is cool. The star is also quiet, meaning no radiation flare-ups. That’s encouraging news for seekers of extraterrestrial life. The planet is believed to border the so-called habitable zone.

A team led by the University of Grenoble Alps’ Xavier Bonfils made the discovery using La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Co-discoverer Nicola Astudillo-Defru from the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland told BBC News:

“…we still need to know what the atmosphere of Ross 128 b is like. Depending on its composition and the reflectivity of its clouds, the exoplanet may be life friendly with liquid water as the Earth, or sterile like Venus.”

NASA’s exoplanet – planets outside of our solar system – count stands at 3,550.

Read: In major announcement, Nasa confirms seven Earth-like planets have been discovered>

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Associated Press

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