Gliese 163C: New Earth-Like Planet Might Sustain Life

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Sept. 5 2012 7:00 PM

Gliese 163C: New Earth-Like Planet Might Sustain Life

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(Photo by ESO via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Photo by ESO via Getty Images

Attention, earthlings! Scientists have found a new planet that can possibly sustain life.


Dubbed Gliese 163C, the planet is about seven times the mass of Earth and orbits a red dwarf, or a small, relatively cool star.

Gliese 163C is 49 light years away. It’s thought to be composed of mostly rock and water and gets 40 percent more light from its parent star than Earth gets from the sun, making it hotter with a surface temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.

NASA's Kepler mission has found 27 potential habitable planets out of about 2,300 exoplanets that astronomers believe might support "Earth-like worlds".

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Though Gliese 163C is relatively nearby in space terms, don't pack those bags just yet. Coming up with a plan to send man 49 light years away is still the stuff of science fiction.