Planet that 'may support life' found, and it's not far away at all

A new study has found planets relatively close to Earth that 'may have an atmosphere that could protect and support life.'

A new study has identified a planetary system that is relatively close to Earth and may have the right conditions to support life.

The new study published in Astronomy & Astrophysics puts forward evidence of planets orbiting the star L 98-59 located just 35 light-years from Earth, possibly having the right atmospheric conditions for life. The planetary system contains three planets, one is an ocean world, another is half the mass of Venus, and the last is located in what researchers call the star's "habitable zone" - where it's not too hot or cold (like Earth).

Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, an astronomer at the Centre for Astrobiology in Madrid and co-author of the study, said in an ESO that the planet located in the habitable zone "may have an atmosphere that could protect and support life." The researchers used European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) in Chile to observe the planets.

According to Olivier Demangeon, a researcher at the University of Porto, Portugal, study's lead author, "We, as a society, have been chasing terrestrial planets since the birth of astronomy and now we are finally getting closer and closer to the detection of a terrestrial planet in the habitable zone of its star, of which we could study the atmosphere."

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