MUNICH, NNC – A new study found a little-known planet beyond the solar system that could be another version of Earth.
Experts found that the distant exoplanet, known as K2-18b, is likely a 'super Earth' made up of rock, just like our own planet.
K2-18b orbits within its star's habitable zone, making it an ideal candidate to hold liquid water on its surface, a key element needed for the presence of alien life.
The new study, from researchers at the University of Texas, Scarborough, and University of Montreal, Canada, also found that K2-18b has a neighbour.
This newly discovered exoplanet, named K2-18c, may be a second rocky super Earth - although it is unlikely to host alien life, scientists lclaim.
Both planets orbit the red-dwarf star K2-18, located 111 light years from Earth in the constellation Leo. The new study used data collected by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which has its headquarters in Munich, Germany.
'Being able to measure the mass and density of K2-18b was tremendous, but to discover a new exoplanet was lucky and equally exciting,' said lead author Ryan Cloutier, at the University of Montreal, as quoted by Daily Mail, Wednesday (12/6/2017).