In this handout provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the dwarf planet Pluto (R) and Charon were shown July 11, 2015. (Photo by NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI via Getty Images)

Mankind is one step closer to possibly discovering life outside Earth. A group of astronomers have discovered 60 new extrasolar planets near the Solar System, with some of them having the likelihood to sustain life, the Independent reported Tuesday.

One planet – Gliese 411-b – strongly resembles Earth and tells researchers that it is possible for stars close to the sun to have their own planets with orbits potentially supporting alien life. "It is fascinating to think that when we look at the nearest stars, all of them appear to have planets orbiting them. This is something astronomers were not convinced about, even as little as five years ago. These new planets also help us better understand the formation processes of planetary systems and provide interesting targets for future efforts to image the planets directly,” said Dr. Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire and one of the astronomers on the team.

Gliese 411-b is considered a “hot super-Earth,” located in the third closest planetary system to the Sun. Since it resembles Earth and is relatively near the Solar System, its discovery means that there could be other planets in the galaxy similar to the Earth, according to the researchers.

Findings for the new planets were compiled after scientists conducted nearly 61,000 observations of 1,600 stars within a 20-year time frame. In addition to the 60 planets confirmed by the scientists, they also uncovered evidence of another possible 54 planets, tallying the count to 114. Astronomers used the Keck-I telescope in Hawaii, a segment of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey implemented in 1996 by esteemed astronomers Paul Butler from the Carnegie Institute of Science, and Geoffrey Marcy and Steve Vogt, both from the University of California.

“Keck-I telescope and its instruments have been wonderful tools in establishing the current consensus that virtually all stars have planets orbiting them. These new discoveries will further help us characterize the population of planets in the immediate Solar neighborhood,” Tuomi said.