Illustration from the European Southern Observatory shows the planet Ross 128 b, foreground, which orbits a red dwarf star, 11 light-years from Earth. Photo: M. Kornmesser / ESO via AP

Scientists announced today the discovery of Ross 128 b, an Earth-sized planet 11 light-years away that may be a new target in the search for extraterrestrial life.

Why it matters: The planet is believed to be in the "habitable zone" because it's temperature falls between -76 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which could allow water to exist on its surface, according to The Planetary Society. Ross 128 b orbits a so-called "quiet" star that "spews out comparatively less radiation that could harm life as we know it." Another Earth-like planet — Proxima b — is closer to our solar system but bombarded with radiation.

The bottom line: Scientists aren't yet certain about its habitability, but the discovery could lead to future searches for extraterrestrial intelligence on the planet.

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Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
53 mins ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.