Astronomers using NASA’s space-based Kepler Telescope may be close to finding the first Earth-like planets in outer space, potentially capable of supporting life. Such a discovery could change the way we view our place in the universe.Scientists are about to announce the discovery of a planet that is near identical to earth. The remarkable body, found by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), is said to have ideal conditions to sustain animal life.
The as yet unnamed planet is 4.2 light years away from our solar system and orbits the Proxima Centauri star. An source told German newspaper Der Spiegel:
“The still nameless planet is believed to be Earth-like and orbits at a distance to Proxima Centauri that could allow it to have liquid water on its surface – an important requirement for the emergence of life. Never before have scientists discovered a second Earth that is so close by.”
Astronomer Professor Phillip Lubin told reporters:
“The discovery of possible planet around Proxima Centauri is very exciting. It makes the case of visiting nearby stellar systems even more compelling, though we know there are many exoplanets around other nearby stars and it is very likely that the Alpha Centauri system will also have planets.”
We will be keeping a close eye on this story.