K2-18b: Scientists discover planet with closest resemblance to Earth so far

Scientists in the UK have discovered a planet with the closest resemblance to Earth of any found so far.

While they don't know if there's life on it yet, they say it's potentially habitable - and it's just 110 light-years away.

The potentially habitable planet is eight times the mass of Earth. There's water and its temperatures could support life.

"We haven't found life yet, but it's the closest we have got so far," says University College London (UCL) scientist Dr Ingo Waldmann.

Its name is K2-18b, and while it was found by the Kepler telescope in 2015, its makeup has only just been discovered by scientists in London.

"It's a planet that has some characteristics similar to Earth that are not anywhere else in the universe," says UCL scientist Dr Angelos Tsiaras.

It's outside our solar system, in the constellation of Leo, and has scientists hot under the collar. Given the state of our current planet with polluted rivers and emissions pushing our climate to the brink, the question is being asked - could we all just relocate there?

"Absolutely not. We're talking about a planet and star that are about 100 light-years away,"  UCL scientist Professor Giovanna Tinetti replies.

That means to get there, you'd need to travel at the speed of light for 110 years.

It's hard not to be carried away - especially when there's new technology on the horizon.

"We are on the way in the next decade of finding biomarkers or signs of life," Dr Tsiaras says.

But it's life here on Earth they say needs the most attention.

"We should take care of our own planet now," Prof Tinetti says.

"'Make Earth Great Again' I think is the take away message," adds Dr Waldmann.

Because the paint's still not dry on the alternative.