Astronomers have discovered a new planet merely 42 light years away that may be habitable and capable of supporting life as we know it, according to reports.
It would only take 42 years to get there traveling at the speed of light, that is. Amazingly, in the grand, cosmic scheme of things, that's not really that bad!
Future telescopes might even be able to image it directly, researchers say.
The newfound planet, a so-called "Super-Earth" called HD 40307g, is located inside its host star's habitable zone, where liquid water may exist on the surface.
"The longer orbit of the new planet means that its climate and atmosphere may be just right to support life," said Hugh Jones of the University of Hertfordshire in England.
"Just as Goldilocks liked her porridge to be neither too hot nor too cold but just right, this planet or indeed any moons that it has lie in an orbit comparable to Earth."
"Thus, increasing the probability of it being habitable."
HD 40307g is one of three newly discovered worlds around the parent star, which was already known to host three planets; its total planetary population is now six.
The star HD 40307 is slightly smaller and less luminous than our own sun.
Astronomers had previously detected three super-Earths - planets a bit more massive than our own - around the star, all of them in orbits too close-in to support liquid water.
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