The truth is out there - on Planet HD85512b 0
Animation of artist's impression of the super-Earth planet HD85512b. (ESO.org)
Things are looking up, puny human.
You're a billionaire. Your spouse is famous. Your kid will discover faster-than-light travel. And you can breathe under water.
Perhaps that's the version of you now living happily on Planet HD85512b.
In 2007, astronomers pinpointed a world beyond our current reach that has all the right elements for possible life. And now they've found a second potential home of a living thing which is just the right distance from a star to make such a wonder possible.
Scientists in Europe have announced that among more than four dozen planets they've discovered in an area outside our solar system, HD85512b lives in a "Goldilocks zone" -- a place not too hot nor too cold for water needed for our sort of life form.
The new world -- whose main star is located around 35 light years from Earth -- is more than 3.5 times the mass of our blue globe. And it's still bathing-suit weather there -- anywhere from a humid 30 to 50 C.
Project scientist, astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger, tells QMI Agency they don't know what the planet really looks like. They only have the mass, so it could be a rocky super-Earth or small like a mini-Neptune.
Asked whether we humans could survive and take a deep breath on HD85512b, Kaltenegger wrote in an e-mail exchange from Germany: "Depends on what exactly the atmosphere is made out of -- we'd need to collect light from the planet itself to make that call."
Scientists have calculated if life does exist on the world, located in the constellation Vela, you're likely taller. The increase in gravity would mean alien critters would probably be built closer to the ground.
A European Southern Observatory instrument set up in Chile made the discovery of HD85512b.
In a 200-night period, they tracked it more than 1,000 times.
But Kaltenegger notes we're not going to visit it anytime soon.