Astronomers have detected an atmosphere around an Earth-like exoplanet called Gliese 1132b (GJ 1132b for short), which is located around 39 light-years away in the constellation Vela.
This is the first time atmosphere has ever been detected around a planet with a mass and radius so similar to Earth’s, and that makes it a hugely promising (and exciting) target for researchers searching for signs of extraterrestrial life.
“While this is not the detection of life on another planet, it’s an important step in the right direction: the detection of an atmosphere around the super-Earth GJ 1132b marks the first time that an atmosphere has been detected around an Earth-like planet other than Earth itself,” said lead researcher John Southworth from Keele University in the UK.
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