New Earth-Like Planet Discovered Just 40 Light Years Away

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.26 - 2024 10:31 AM CET

Photo: NASA
Photo: NASA
Astronomers have found a new Earth-sized planet with promising characteristics.

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A fresh find has excited the astronomical community: a planet similar in size and temperature to Earth has been discovered.

he new planet, named Gliese 12 b, is situated 40 light years away from us—about 236 trillion miles (380 trillion kilometers). This is reported by NASA.

Promising Earth-Like Traits

Gliese 12 b boasts an Earth-like size and a surface temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, closely resembling Earth and Venus.

This discovery is notable not only for its characteristics but also for its proximity compared to other exoplanets.

While 40 light years might seem daunting, it's relatively close in cosmic terms.

For perspective, the Moon is just over 236.000 miles (380,000 kilometers) away, and Mars is about 34 millioner miles (55 million kilometers) away at its nearest approach to Earth.

Even at its farthest, Mars is only about 248 millioner miles (400 million kilometers) away—still much closer than Gliese 12 b.

Why Gliese 12 b Matters

Astronomers regularly find Earth-like planets, but Gliese 12 b stands out due to its relative closeness.

NASA, in its press release, emphasized the significance of this distance.

The last notable Earth-like planet discovered in 2017 was 101 light years away, translating to about 597 trillion miles (960 trillion kilometers) from Earth.

Future Implications for Space Research

According to NASA scientists, this discovery could be pivotal for future atmospheric and space research.

The planet was identified using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which scans the cosmos for new planets. The proximity and characteristics of Gliese 12 b make it an intriguing candidate for further study and potentially for understanding more about habitability beyond our solar system.

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