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The planet, which has been called Ross 128b due to it orbiting the star Ross 128, is the second closest exoplanet – a planet outside of our solar system – which has been found to Earth after Proxima b, which could also be habitable.
The team of scientists behind the discovery believe that Ross 128b could have similar conditions and surface temperatures to Earth which makes it a candidate for an alien finding mission.
The new world was discovered by a team using the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.
Nicola Astudillo-Defru of the University of Geneva, who co-authored the paper, said: “This discovery is based on more than a decade of HARPS intensive monitoring together with state-of-the-art data reduction and analysis techniques.
“Only HARPS has demonstrated such a precision, and it remains the best planet hunter of its kind, 15 years after it began operations.”
The planet is 11 light-years from Earth – one light-year is around 5.88 trillion miles – but it is moving towards us very slowly.
Experts predict that in around 79,000 years it will be closer to us that Proxima b is, which is 4.22 light-years away.
Ross 128 is also a red dwarf star which are typically smaller and cooler than our sun, which is a yellow dwarf, and emits much less radiation.
Proxima centauri, the host star of Proxima b, is also a red dwarf star, but Ross 128 is much calmer, making it a great alternative in the search for alien life.
Lead author Xavier Bonfils of Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble told Futurism: “Proxima Centauri is particularly active, with frequent, powerful flares that may sterilize (if not stripped out) its atmosphere.
“Ross 128 is one of the quietest stars of our sample, and although it is a little further away from us, it makes for an excellent alternative target.”
The fact that the planet is approaching Earth draws comparisons to the mythical planet of Nibiru.
Nibiru, or Planet X, is an alleged planetary object that is supposedly heading towards our solar system and will cause the apocalypse on Earth which will wipe out most of the population.
The most prominent claims have been attributed to Revelation 12:1 in the Bible, which says: “A great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head.
“And being with child, she cried out in her travail and was in anguish of delivery.”
US space agency NASA denies Planet X’s existence.