Newly discovered planet looks a lot like Earth, scientists say

09/1/2011 | National Geographic News

Astronomers at an observatory in Chile say they've discovered an Earth-like planet about 36 light years away that may be the closest thing they've ever found to our own world. The planet, which scientists have dubbed HD85512b, is 3.6 times Earth's mass and orbits its orange-dwarf parent star at proper distance to support liquid water. The main question now, they say, is whether there is enough cloud cover to keep the planet from overheating.

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