Artist's impression of GJ 1132b

Astronomers hunting distant worlds say they have made one of their most significant discoveries to date – a kind of hot twin to our Venus.

The rocky planet, known as GJ 1132b, is not dissimilar in size and orbits a star some 39 light-years from us.

This makes it close enough for any atmosphere to be examined in detail by the next generation of telescopes now in development.

To date, only very big worlds have been amenable to this kind of study.

Scientists are keen to do the same with more diminutive targets because it may be their best bet of establishing whether or not life exists beyond our Solar System.

full article over at the BBC