Gliese 163c, a newly-discovered “super-earth” 6.9 times larger than our planet, is now considered the top contender for a planet hosting alien life beyond ours.
The planet orbits a red dwarf star, with an orbiting period of 26 days.
Astronomers found it using the European Southern Observatory HARPS telescope (or High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher).
“There are a wide range of structures and compositions that allow Gliese 163c to be a habitable planet,” said Xavier Bonfils of France’s Joseph Fourier University-Grenoble.
The super-earth is approximately 49 light years away in the Dorado constellation.
Gliese 163c receives 40 percent more light than Earth does, which means it should be considerably hotter. The climate should be able to be a source of liquid water, however.