An Earth-like planet is circling a star in the Goldilocks zone of our galaxy. It is 500 light-years from Earth in the Cygnus constellation. The Goldilocks zone is the area around a star where planetary-mass objects with enough atmospheric pressure can sustain liquid water on their surfaces.

 




 

There are at least 40 billion Earth-sized planets in the sky, but this is the first one to be found in the star’s habitable zone.

 

 

There are 4 other planets in the system that circle a star. If the neighboring star to this planet is the same as our Sun, then the likelihood of life on this planet will increase dramatically.

“We know of only one planet where life survives – Earth. When we hunt for life outside our solar system, we emphasize discovering planets with features that mimic that of Earth,” said Elisa Quintana, a research scientist at the SETI Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and lead author of the paper published in the journal Science. “Discovering a habitable zone planet similar to Earth in size is a major breakthrough.”

One-third of the energy that we get from our Sun comes from the neighboring star, which has half the mass and size of our solar system’s Sun. It circles its star once every 130 days.