Astronomers Locate 'Super-Earth': The Nearest Habitable Planet

Scientists have discovered the nearest Earth-like planet outside of our solar system — and it's only 14 light years away.

Just to put things into perspective, that's about 84 trillion miles away. 

Not bad, right?

The planet is four times the size of Earth and is situated at a perfect distance from the closest star. Astronomers call it the "Goldilocks zone,” a position that provides the ideal conditions for supporting liquid water and possibly life. You know, not too hot, not too cold, it's just right? Like, porridge? 

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Professor Chris Tinney, head of the Exoplanetary Science at UNSW group, said in a statement:

"Our team has developed a new technique that improves the analysis of the data from this precise, purpose-built, planet-hunting instrument, and we have studied more than a decade's worth of observations of Wolf 1061. These three planets right next door to us join the small but growing ranks of potentially habitable rocky worlds orbiting nearby stars cooler than our Sun."

Using the HARPS spectrograph — which is part of a large telescope at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla in Chile — researchers from the University of New South Wales located three planets orbiting a red dwarf star called Wolf 1061.

Researchers now hope they can get a better look at the habitable planet and its atmosphere when the planet passes in front of the star.