Planet Gliese 12 b may support human life: study

Newly-discovered exoplanet potential candidate for supporting human life

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Planet Gliese 12 b may support human life: study
Scientists say conditions on Gliese 12 b exoplanet may be suitable to support human life. — Nasa/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (Caltech-IPAC)

Astronomers may have identified a rocky exoplanet, which is 40 lightyears away from Earth, could potentially support habitable conditions for living beings, reported Newsweek Thursday.

The newly discovered planet is named Gliese 12 b orbiting a red dwarf star which is only 27% in size and much cooler than our sun.

According to the experts, the low-temperature levels could support human life at Gliese 12 b theoretically.

A University of Warwick spokesperson told the outlet: "Gliese 12 b [...] is one of the few known rocky planets where humans could theoretically survive. [However,] scientists are still unsure of what — if any — the atmosphere of Gliese 12 b looks like."

Another member of a discovery team, Thomas Wilson, a physics professor at the university said: "This is a really exciting discovery and will help our research into planets similar to Earth. Planets like Gliese 12 b are few and far between, so for us to be able to examine one this closely and learn about its atmosphere and temperature is very rare."

The spokesperson, revealing the possible condition to support life, said: "This mainly depends on how close the planets are to their equivalent of the Sun. Too close and all the surface water evaporates into space. Too far and the water freezes.”

“A planet that's too small can't maintain an atmosphere; one that's too large will have a crushing atmosphere."

Gliese 12 b has an average temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit and is equivalent to the size of either Venus or Earth.