Modelling of planet Gliese 581d shows it has the potential to be warm and wet enough to nurture Earth-like life, they said.
It orbits a red dwarf star called Gliese 581, located around 20 light years from Earth, which makes it one of our closest neighbours.
Gliese 581d orbits on the outer fringes of the star’s “Goldilocks zone,” where it is not so hot that water boils away, nor so cold that water is perpetually frozen. Instead, the temperature is just right for water to exist in liquid form.
Graphic: A model of the possible surface temperatures of planet Gliese 581d (National Centre for Scientific Research/AFP/Getty Images)