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Swiss-led team finds 'another' earth.

An Earth-like planet has been discovered by a team of European astronomers, led by researchers from Geneva University.

The new planet is five times heavier than Earth, with twice its gravity. Researchers aren't certain if it is rocky like Earth or a frozen ice ball with water on the surface.

The planet circles its sun so fast that a year lasts only 13 Earth days, but surface temperatures vary between zero and 40 degrees Celsius, suggesting that it could support life.

The planet, named 581 c, was detected using the Swiss-designed telescope of the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile. Its sun is the red dwarf star, Gliese 581, located within 100 stars of our own solar system. Until recently, red dwarf stars were not considered capable of hosting planets that could support life.
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Publication:Swiss News
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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