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Scientists report most earth-like planet ever
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A team of planet-hunting scientists say they've discovered a planet 20 light years from earth that could be the most earth-like body ever found.

Scientists say they've discovered what could be the most earth-like planet ever found, and they say it could sustain life.

We don't have any direct way to sense that there's life there. Uhm, my own personal opinion is there's- ehm- it would be hard to imagine that life has not taken a foothold there.

Gliese 581g lies 20 light-years from earth. It's the sixth planet found to be orbiting the same star. That's the highest number of planets found in any system except our own. Professor Stephen Voyst says the planet has a gravity similar to earth. He says though the make-up of its atmosphere is unknown, Gliese 581g's temperature may also be conducive to life, but there are a lot of unknowns.

So it's a spherical ball of stuff. Now, you know, it could be marshmallow cream, or it could have a liquid cherry centre with, ehrr, you know, a chocolate crust xxxx zone. Probably not, it's probably made of the same stuff that planets and things are made of, right?

Voyst says with the existing technology we could send a probe to take photos and capture other information about the planet, but it would probably take 200 years to receive the information.

In a few generations we'd have very detailed information of this oasis to xxxxxxx to 200 years old and that's quite... that's within today's technology.

It took scientists 11 years to find the planet. They used to xxxx at an observatory in Hawaii.

Mark Freatman, the Associate Press.

EARTH-LIKE= Similar to our planet Earth.

SUSTAIN LIFE= Have life, be able to have life.

TO SENSE= To know, to check.

FOOTHOLD= A firm or secure position that provides a base for further advancement. TO TAKE A FOOTHOLD somewhere means to start conquering or spreading through that place.

GLIESE 581G= The scientific name for this planet. Notice that we pronounce the numbers 5-8-1, not 581 (this also happens in hotel rooms, for example).

LIGHT-YEARS= An astronomical distance unit which is the space the light can cover in one year. 1 light year is about 10 trillion kilometres.

ORBITING= Going around a point.

MAKE-UP= Composition.

CONDUCIVE= Tending to cause or bring about.

UNKNOWNS= Missing information, things we don't know.

STUFF= (coll.) Substance.

MARSHMALLOW= A sweet thing for kids (see picture).

PROBE= An exploratory spacecraft.

OASIS= A small area of life in the middle of a big arid area (usually referring to green areas with water and vegetation in the middle of a desert).

WITHIN= Inside. WITHIN TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY= possible with the technology we have now.

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