Astronomers have discovered an Earth-like planet known as Gliese 581d in which European researchers believe is a habitable zone with potential to support life.
Gliese 581d is located in constellation Libra and orbits around Gliese 581. It was first discovered in 2007 and was originally calculated to be too far away from its host star.
But astronomer Michel Mayor, during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science conference from Geneva University in Switzerland, announced today that a new measurement of the planet's orbit place is firmly in a region where it orbits a star with a 66.8 day frequency --making it a possible to support liquid water.
It lies in the [life-supporting] habitable zone, and it could have an ocean at its surface, Mayor said during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science conference, being held this week at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K.
The new findings, slated for publication in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, were obtained using the most successful low-mass-exoplanet hunter in the world, the HARPS spectrograph attached to the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at La Silla, Chile.