Science News: The newly discovered fourth planet orbiting a star 42 light-years from Earth has many characteristics that could allow it to host life. The planet, whose mass is seven times Earth’s, orbits at a distance where liquid water could exist and where its surface temperature could be about the same as Earth’s. And it is not tidally locked, so it experiences regular night and day cycles. Hugh Jones of the University of Hertfordshire in England and his colleagues discovered the planet. They examined gravitational effects on separate wavelengths of the star’s light and recognized the presence of a previously unknown planet in the system. Jones’s team members think that the planet, being so close, is a good candidate for space-based observations. Because so few planets have been found in habitable zones, understanding the physical characteristics of the ones that are found will help determine the possibility that life could exist elsewhere in the universe.