Scientists have spotted a planet orbiting a star relatively near our solar system that may offer a prime opportunity to study the atmosphere of a rocky Earthlike alien world – the type of research that could aid the hunt for extraterrestrial life.The researchers said on Thursday the planet, called Gliese 486 b and classified as a “super-Earth”, is not itself a promising candidate as a refuge for life. It is thought to be inhospitable – hot and dry like Venus, with possible rivers of lava…

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