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Life Outside Earth: 5 Earth-Like Planets That Could Be Our New Home

Sep 08, 2016 04:20 AM EDT

The discovery of Proxima b as a potentially life-sustaining exoplanet raised interest in the other habitable worlds beyond the solar system. When it's time to leave, where will mankind go?

With the climate heating at unprecedented levels, the population peaking and species dying out left and right, it's becoming a concern that Earth may not be able to handle the strain forever. Even back in 2010, Stephen Hawking predicted that the human race would eventually have to abandon the planet to survive.

Here are four Earth-like planets nearby that could offer humans a new place to live, according to Space.

Wolf 1061c

Roughly 13.8 light years from Earth, this exoplanet is the closest potentially habitable planet after the newly-discovered Proxima b. A rocky planet, Wolf 1061c orbits around red dwarf star Wolf 1061, completing an orbit around it in 17.9 days. It has a mass of about 4.3 times of the Earth's and early studies said it's in a region where it's possible for liquid water to exist on its surface, a report from Centauri Dreams revealed.

Gliese 832c 

Dubbed as "super-Earth" because of it's sheer mass five times as big as Earth, this planet is 16 light-years away and completes one orbit around its red dwarf star Gliese 832 in 36 days. It's believed to receive around the same energy the Earth gets from the sun and has similar temperatures as well, although with major seasonal shifts due to the terrestrial atmosphere.

Gliese 667 Cc

Another super-Earth 3.9 times larger than the planet, this one orbits red dwarf Gliese 667C that's 22 light-years away. It orbits the star in 28 days. Some potential qualities listed in KQED include the possibility of a greater surface gravity and the likelihood of the planet being tidally locked with the same side facing its parent star at all times.

TRAPPIST-1d

Orbiting around dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 40 light-years away, the recently-discovered TRAPPIST-1d is located in a habitable zone. It's one of the three planets around the parent star.

Gliese 163c

The farthest planet on the list, this exoplanet orbits around Gliese 163 49 light-years away. It completes one orbit in 26 days and astronomers found that it could be either a rocky planet or a dwarfed gas giant, Space reported. The super-Earth is seven times the mass of Earth.

Read:
Co-Discoverer Says Proxima B is a Life-Friendly Planet; Life Outside Earth Possible?
Is Proxima B in Alpha Centauri Really Habitable?
These 4 Places in the Solar System are Likely to Have Alien Life – NASA Director

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