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Life beyond Mars may exist after all

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Life beyond Mars may exist after all


Scientists have found a new planet outside our solar system that is just right to support life.

The planet, called Gliese 581g, orbits a red dwarf star and is roughly three times the mass of Earth and some 20 light years away, according to one of its discoverers.

Astronomer Steve Vogt said: “If the atmosphere is pure ammonia it might be tough. If it’s conventional gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide, that sort of thing, then there is every bit of reason to think that life as we know it could exist there.”

The team at University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington have also spotted other potential planets orbiting it the red dwarf star which suggests we might not be alone.

If it was rocky, like Earth, it could have gravity similar to Earth’s and it would be possible for liquid water to be on the surface, they said, although they have not detected water on Gliese 581g.

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