Possible Earth-like planet could hold water
BY LOS ANGELES TIMES
Sunday, November 11, 2012
11/11/12 at 8:18 AM
By taking a fresh look at old data, an international team of astronomers has discovered a possible super-Earth planet relatively nearby that could potentially hold liquid water, scientists announced this week.
The research, released Wednesday by the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, used a novel technique to analyze previous measurements of a nearby star. The paper drew some praise even as other experts in the field expressed caution about the results.
The finding adds three planet candidates around the dwarf star HD 40307 about 42 light-years away. Combined with three others that were discovered in 2008, they bring the total to six. Five are clustered close to the star, nearer than Mercury's orbit around the sun.
But one of the three new finds lies far enough away to be in what's known as the habitable zone, where a planet could support liquid water - and perhaps life.
That candidate planet, dubbed HD 40307g, has seven times the mass of Earth, the scientists reported.
Original Print Headline: Possible planet could hold water