Could a newly discovered ‘super-Earth’ have the potential for temperatures and conditions to sustain life?

The new exoplanet is “quite close to us,” just 137 million light-years away, and orbits within a “habitable zone,” according to the NASA.

Astronomers say the planet, named TOI-715 b, it has a diameter, approximately, one and a half times the diameter of the Earth and revolves around a small, reddish star, which gives hope that this planet – maybe – can support the existence of water on its surface. TOI-715b completes a full orbit in just 19 days. It orbits a red dwarf, which is smaller and cooler than the Sun.

“It will become the smallest habitable zone planet discovered so far by TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite,” NASA said.

Its orbit around the red star makes it easier for scientists to track it, and thus to study it. NASA plans to study the planet further, using the James Webb Telescope, to see how much more we can learn about its features.

The Webb Telescope it is designed not only to detect exoplanets but also to “explore the composition of their atmospheres, which could provide clues to the possible presence of life,” NASA said.

The research and discovery of the “super-Earth” was led by Georgina Dransfield at the University of Birmingham, UK, and was published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” in January.

The findings mark another step forward in astronomers’ mission to understand what atmospheric conditions are needed to sustain life and further explore the characteristics of exoplanets beyond our solar system, according to NASA.