Another New Planet Just Might Be Hospitable for Life

Another Gliese discovery inspires hope that scientists found an Earth-like planet

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Somewhere out in dark space, there could be another planet hospitable to life. Who knows if it will be one of those media-darling Gliese planets, but a new study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters purports to have found the next contender.

BBC News relays that Gliese 581d--that's different from Gliese 581g, which made headlines back in 2010--"hints" that it has an atmosphere warm enough to have liquid water. The planet, about six times larger than Earth, also has the potential for clouds and rainfall. And the research team behind the study seems excited that future generations will be able to use powerful telescopes to one day peer at the surface. Hello Gliese-lings!

Here's hoping that 581d can remain a contender. In 2010, a few weeks after its cousin, Gliese 581g, was announced as the "first" habitable extra-terrestrial locale, its existence was called into question. Meanwhile, the only place we know for sure can sustain human life is the planet pictured above: reliable Earth.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.