Photo: Most Earthlike Planet Yet Found May Have Liquid Oceans



A distant world known as Gliese 581e (foreground in this artist's conception) is the lightest planet outside our solar system found to date, astronomers announced in April 2009. The planet, one of four orbiting a red dwarf star, is just less than twice the mass of Earth.

Astronomers also announced that one of the system's other planets, Gliese 581d, is an Earthlike world that orbits in the right zone to host liquid water, and thus potentially life.

Image courtesy ESO/L. Calçada


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