Existence of habitable exoplanet questioned

Swiss team fails to confirm recent discovery of an extrasolar planet that might have right conditions for life

By Ron Cowen, 18:16 PM October 13, 2010

In late September, an experienced group of U.S. astronomers made headlines with news of the first extrasolar planet likely to be hospitable to life. The planet lies at a distance from its parent star at which water could be liquid (SN: 10/23/10, p. 5).

But a Swiss team of veteran planet hunters has now cast some doubt on that finding. On October 11, Francesco Pepe of the Geneva Observatory in Sauverny, Switzerland, announced at an extrasolar planet meeting in Torino, Italy, that a combinat...

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