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The first habitable exoplanet?


Narrator:            This is Science Today. The first truly Earth-like, habitable exoplanet may have been discovered by a team of astronomers led by the University of California, Santa Cruz. Steve Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics, says about 500 planets outside of our solar system have been discovered, but this one is different.

Vogt:            Since the beginning of this hunt, we've tried to find planets that were about the size of the Earth that were at the right temperature to allow water to exist in liquid form on its surface. And so it's been a long haul getting to the point where our techniques could be able to see things like this and this is the first exoplanet that really has the right conditions for water to exist in liquid form on its surface.

Narrator:            This exoplanet is part of a planetary system some 20 light years away from Earth. Two other planets in this system were considered habitable, but one was on the hot side and the other, on the cold side.

Vogt:                        This one is right between the two in the same system. So, there are now six planets in this system and one of them is right between the two that were on either edge.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.