Apr 19, 1:22 PM EDT

Another nearby planet found that may be just right for life



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Astronomers have found yet another planet that seems to have just the right combination to support life.

This new big planet is rocky, like Earth. It's not so hot and not so cold. And it's not so far away, either.

Harvard astronomer David Charbonneau said what makes this planet so exciting is that it is rocky and regularly passes in front of its star. That means in the next several years, new telescopes can spy its atmosphere in a targeted search for signs of life.

With this new discovery, astronomers have identified 52 potentially habitable planets and more than 3,600 planets outside our solar system.

The latest discovery is described Wednesday in the journal Nature.

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