On September 12, scientists announced a monumental discovery of 50 alien planets outside our solar system, including 16 so-called super-Earths, one of which orbits the edge of the habitable zone of its star. The surface of super-Earth is neither too hot nor too cold to support liquid water, a key factor needed for life.
One particular planet named HD 85512b has caught the attention of scientist for having the potential to support life. "If we are really, really lucky, this planet could be a habitat, comparable to Earth," said Lisa Kaltenegger, an astronomer with Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany.
These new planets were discovered with the help of High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), also known as "The Planet Hunter," at the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) location in La Silla, Chile.