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A team of scientists are calling GJ 667Cc the best candidate planet that could support life.

Newly discovered planet is best candidate for alien life

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft launched in March 2009 with the mission of discovering potentially life-supporting planets. To date, Kepler has discovered more than 2,000 planet candidates and 61 confirmed planets. According to scientists, one of these recently confirmed planets is the best candidate for a planet capable of supporting life.

Artist's conception of the alien planet GJ 667Cc (Credit: Carnegie Institution for Science)

This giant planet, called GJ 667Cc, is at least 4.5 times as massive as Earth. According to Space.com, a team of scientists, which included Guillem Anglada-Escudé of the Carnegie Institution for Science, determined this planet’s location to be within the habitable zone of its host star — “a narrow circumstellar region where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface.” Anglada-Escudé stated, “This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it.”

Space.com explains that the researchers suspect “potentially habitable alien worlds could exist in a greater variety of environments than was previously thought possible,” based on the new findings.

The team’s research will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

About Jason McClellan

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Jason McClellan is an editor and staff writer for Open Minds magazine. Jason is also the producer and co-host of the web series Spacing Out!, web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook at Facebook.com/jason.openminds