A planet 31 lightyears away from Earth might support human life (Image: NASA Blueshift Twitter)
G7 357d lies 31 light years away from our solar system and orbits in the Goldilocks zone of the GJ 357 system where water could form. The planet is a super-Earth meaning it is outside of the Solar System and has a greater mass than Earth, six times the size of Earth in this case, but lower than ice giant Neptune. As reported by NBC, Lisa Kaltenegger, an astronomy professor at Cornell University, explained: “It’s a distance from the star that is not too hot and not too cold.”
The discovery of the planet was not expected, it was a side-effect of the analysis of NASA data.
She said: “It was like a freebie, because it was discovered in the follow-up.
“I was on vacation at the time, and I was completely surprised.”
There are two other known planets in the system, GJ 357 b and GJ 357 c, but they are thought to be too hot for human life with the surface