Is There Life Out There?

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SAN ANTONIO: An American astronomer drew a hushed, standing room only crowd to an American Astronomical Society conference room Wednesday when he announced the discovery of two new planets orbiting stars outside Earth's solar system. Geoffrey Marcy, a professor of physics and astronomy at San Francisco State University, told the gathering of 1300 scientists that at least one of the new orbs could have water. "That means possible conditions ideal for life," says TIME's Michael Lemonick. "That's a very significant discovery since we now have several examples of large planets orbiting stars like the sun." Lemonick says the new planets, about the size of our own sun, are located some 35 light years (200 trillion miles) away and have temperatures low enough to have water: "And it's not unreasonable to think that these planets, like Jupiter, have brother planets like earth."