New Earth-like planet Gliese 581g could have life

275x250.jpg Astronomers have discovered a planet which they claim is about the right distance from its Sun to have water and support life.

The catchily named 'Gliese 581g' is about 20 light-years away, is three times the size of Earth and orbits its sun in 37 days though it does not rotate.

However, boffins say it falls within the "Goldilocks Zone" - the right distance form the sun to have water and an right atmosphere - therefore it could potentially support life.

It's said finding a habitable planet so close means they must be more common than previously thought… but remember an astronomers definition of "so close" is probably different to yours.
275x250.jpg Professor Steven Vogt from  Santa Cruz said: "Our findings offer a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet.

"The fact that we were able to detect this planet so quickly and so nearby tells us that planets like this must be really common."

Because Gliese 581g does not spin like the Earth it mean one side is in constant light and the other darkness.

Vogt says this means the most habitable zone on the planet's surface would be the line between shadow and light.

National Science Foundation
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