Read More: Newsweek
Astronomers have identified a distant exoplanet as a “super-Earth” that has the potential to harbor alien life. On top of this, the team also discovered that this planet, called K2-18b, has another, similar world hiding behind it. A super-Earth is a planet with a mass higher than Earth but smaller than larger bodies like Uranus and Neptune. The two new super-Earths orbit a red-dwarf star around 111 light years away. K2-18b, scientists say, could be in an excellent location for alien life to emerge—having perfect conditions for surface water, a fundamental ingredient for life, to exist. Hunting planets Scientists combed the skies with the European Southern Observatory’s planet-hunting HARPS device in Chile. They found the planets circling the red dwarf star K2-18, which is part of the constellation, Leo. The discovery of the first planet, K2-18b, took place in 2015. Sitting within the habitable zone of the star, astronomers have been investigating whether or not it could support life. This meant finding out if K2-18b was a hunk of rock, like Earth, or a dense body of gas, like Jupiter.