Is there life out there...in space? Maybe!

Is there life out there...in space? Maybe!

Astronomers found another planet!

Astronomers have found a new planet, and except for its boring name - Gisele 581 g, it's one of the most exciting planets ever discovered. Why? It's the most Earth-like planet we've ever seen! And the best thing is, it's not that far away - only 20 light years!

Does it have the X Factor?

The planet was spotted in the 'Goldilocks zone'. This area of space is in the ideal location, not too chilly but not boiling either. This climate means that water could form on the planet. If this planet was a contestant on an X Factor of habitable planets, it would most certainly be in the final!

Life couldn't survive on most of the other 400 exoplanets (planets outside our Solar System) discovered because they're gas giants - much like our very own Jupiter.

What makes Gisele 581 g so different to other exoplanets?

Gisele 581 g has nearly four times the mass of the Earth and circles its star in just over 7 weeks.  This suggests to astronomers that the planet could have enough gravity to have an atmosphere. So it really isn't too different to our own beautiful planet Earth.

Because it's facing a star, one half of the planet is always light and the other half is always dark. If life did exist there, it would be on the margin between the light and dark sides as this is where the most stable climate would probably be.

It's quite chilly there too. According to astronomers' estimations, the highs would be around -12°C and the lows down to -31°C - brrrrrrr! Any aliens living there would definitely need a woolly hat!

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