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This artist's conception shows the rocky exoplanet GJ 1132b, located 39 light-years from Earth. New research shows that it might possess a thin, oxygen atmosphere - but no life due to its extreme heat. Credit: Dana Berry / Skyworks Digital / CfA

Scientists discovered an atmosphere around an Earth-like planet just 39 light-years away


Astronomers have discovered an atmosphere around the super Earth-like exoplanet GJ 1132b.

It is 39 light-years away from our Blue Marble, located in the constellation Vela.

The finding, published in the Astronomical Journal, is the first detection of an atmosphere around a planet similar to Earth in size, mass and proximity to a dimly burning red dwarf star.

So, does this mean it's time to pack your bags? Scientists say not quite.

GJ 1132b is 1.4-times the size of planet Earth and contains gaseous layers that are either water or methane or a mixture of both.

However, with a surface temperature of 370C, it is likely uninhabitable.

To my knowledge the hottest temperature that life has been able to survive on Earth is 120C and that's far cooler than this planet.
Dr. John Southworth, Keele University

This is an artist's conception of the exoplanet GJ 1132b, which orbits the red dwarf star GJ 1132. Scientists have found an atmosphere of the planet.

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