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2 planets orbiting nearby star could have water, life, scientists say

A tiny star just 12 light-years away might host two temperate, rocky planets, astronomers have announced.

Reports say both of the newly spotted worlds are nearly identical to Earth in mass, and both planets are in orbits that could allow liquid water to trickle and puddle on their surfaces.

Scientists estimate that the stellar host, known as Teegarden’s star, is at least eight billion years old, or nearly twice the sun’s age.

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Reports say the planets, discovered in June 2019, could support water on their surfaces if they have very thin atmospheres or relatively thick ones.

“The Teegarden’s planets are potentially habitable,” says Ignasi Ribas of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia, a member of the team reporting the planets today in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. “We will eventually see if they are actually habitable and, perhaps, even inhabited.”

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