The planet is located within its star’s habitable zone, meaning liquid water may exist on the planet’s surface.
NASA has discovered a new rocky planet that is roughly twice the size of Earth, and it could harbour alien life.
The planet, which has been named K2-288Bb, is located within its star’s habitable zone, meaning liquid water may exist on the planet’s surface.
Adina Feinstein, lead author of the study, said: “It’s a very exciting discovery due to how it was found, its temperate orbit and because planets of this size seem to be relatively uncommon.”
K2-288b is around 226 light-years away from Earth, and lies in the constellation Taurus.
It’s estimated to be around 1.9 times the size of Earth, and around half the size of Neptune.
This places the planet within a category known as the ‘Fulton gap’ – a mysterious lack of planets about 1.5 to 2 times the size of Earth.
Scientists believe this gap exists due to intense starlight breaking up atmospheric molecules and eroding away the atmospheres of some planets over time.
Since K2-288Bb is now in this gap, it could help scientists to understand the planetary evolution within this size range.