Super-Earth spotted in life-friendly zone

Latest exoplanet entry creeps closer to long-sought goal of habitability elsewhere

By Nadia Drake, 15:49 PM February 2, 2012

Inching ever closer toward the goal of finding another Earth, scientists have announced the most promising extraterrestrial incubator so far: a planet of at least 4.5 Earth masses, orbiting its star in the region where liquid water can stably exist.

The super-Earth is called GJ 667Cc, and it circles one member of a triple-star system shining 22 light-years from Earth near the curving tail of the constellation Scorpius.

Unlike other recent tantalizing discoveries, the planet is both well w...

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