Several space experts believe that life, as we know it, is not confined to the earth, and it may be thriving in other earth-like planets located in the deep nooks of space. Adding up the possibilities to discover extraterrestrial life, a team of astronomers led by Dr Antonio Herrera Martin, a researcher at the University of Canterbury has discovered a new Super-Earth that is located very close to the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
An orbit very similar to the earth
Initial analysis of this exoplanet revealed that it has an orbital position very similar to that of the earth. The planet is expected to have a mass somewhere between that of Earth and Neptune.
Interestingly, the mass of this exoplanet's star is very less compared to that of the sun, and as a result, this planet will have a year, equal to 617 earth days. It should be noted that this exoplanet is one among those rare space bodies that have a size and orbit, very similar to earth.
Researchers revealed that they discovered this exoplanet using an advanced technique called microlensing.
"To have an idea of the rarity of the detection, the time it took to observe the magnification due to the host star was approximately five days, while the planet was detected only during a small five-hour distortion. The combined gravity of the planet and its host star caused the light from a more distant background star to be magnified in a particular way. We used telescopes distributed around the world to measure the light-bending effect," said Martin in a recent statement.
The prospects of finding alien life
Space experts had previously revealed that planets located in the ideal orbital position are very likely to host life. Earth is located in this ideal region in the solar system, and as a result, the blue planet has liquid water, a perfect atmosphere and a sufficient amount of sunshine.
Extraterrestrial hunters believe that exoplanets that are located in this so-called Goldilocks zone are likely to host life. As this newly discovered planet is located in this ideal zone, several space experts argue that it will open up a new possibility to discover alien life within our galaxy.