Nearby planet in perfect position to foster life

Belongs in "Goldilocks zone," according to National Science Foundation: Not too hot and not too cold

Published September 29, 2010 9:11PM (EDT)

Astronomers say they have for the first time clearly spotted a planet beyond our solar system in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone -- where key conditions for life to exist are just right.

Not too far from its star, not too close. So it's not too hot, not too cold for liquid water and life. It's just right. Just like Earth

And it is in our galactic neighborhood. That suggests that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars and maybe that we are not alone.

The National Science Foundation announced the finding Wednesday. The planet circles a star that is 120 trillion miles away, which is closer than most stars. It is about three times the mass of Earth.

By Associated Press

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