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Researchers said the planet classified as a 'super-Earth', is thought to be inhospitable - hot and dry like Venus, with possible rivers of lava flowing on its surface. But its proximity to Earth and its physical traits make it well suited for a study of its atmosphere.

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 Earth-like alien world - the type of research that could aid the hunt for extraterrestrial life.