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Astronomers Discover Bizarre Neptune-Like Planet That May Have Water

The brilliant stars seen in this image are members of the popular open star cluster known as the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters. The Hubble Space Telescope's Fine Guidance Sensors refined the distance to the Pleiades at about 440 light-years. The Fine Guidance Sensors are at the periphery of Hubble's field-of-view. They trace a circumference that is approximately the angular size of the Moon on the sky. They are overlaid on this image to give a scale to Hubble's very narrow view on the heavens.

Astronomers have discovered a planet 90 light years away from Earth that may have enough water in its atmosphere to support life.

Spotted by a team of NASA scientists and University of New Mexico researchers, TOI-1231 B is an exoplanet, which means it’s located outside our solar system, according to NASA. It’s in orbit around a dwarf star, completing a full cycle every 24 days, they say. Scientists say TOI-1231 B is “oddly reminiscent of Neptune.”

But the most interesting thing about the planet is scientists believe its temperatures are consistent with Earth’s and its atmosphere is loaded with water vapor clouds — which is usually a strong indicator that a planet can support life. In this case, however, that’s unlikely; scientists believe TOI-1231 B is a gas planet, per NASA.

Will we ever have the technology to visit planets in other solar systems? What’s the most important space discovery ever made?

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