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Astronomers Discover "Second Earth"

According to an article run in BBC News yesterday, astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our solar system, and that this world could actually have water running on its surface. The planet is over 20 light-years away, and the temperatures there suggest that any water there could exist in liquid form, which means that there could be life as well. Scientists estimate the temperatures on the planet to be between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius. Scientists believe the planet to be a key target for future space missions and the search for extra-terrestrial life. The planet is around a star called Gleise 581, that allows it to reach habitable temperatures. Scientists have insisted on this planet's apparent ability to support life. The fact that it's over 20 light-years away means humans will not be visiting it anytime soon, though with future innovations it could be a possibility.

Well the article is a scientific one, and thus prone to all sorts of jargon that the article effectively cuts through. THe details are explained in such a way as to facilitate easier comprehension by those of us who are not well-versed in scientific vocabulary. The headline pretty much leads into a smaller bolded section giving more details, which leads right into the beginning of the article detailing the planet's perported location. We then get information about the planet itself and what makes it earth-like, featuring some direct quotations from those responsible for making the announcement. Information about the planet is sort of scattered along the article, in between sections that seem to focus on scientists' opinions on whether or not visiting the planet could become a reality, as well as how the planet was even discovered. The article ends with a quote saying that the new planet and those near it will be prime targets for future NASA space missions.

A report on the new planet run in The Guardian takes an even simpler approach, giving just the necessary details and one instance of direct attribution from an astronomer who emphasizes the planet's significance. The lead is basic and just reveals the discovery and the bearing it has on the idea that we might not be alone. The Earth-like traits of the planet are emphasized and discussed, and some basic details are given. such as its size and the events leading up to tis discovery.

Both articles are competent and intended for different audiences, obviously. Neither one is bad, and it just depends on what type of coverage is desired because the Guardian article is a bit simpler but gives all the necessary information, while the BBC News article is more complicated and in-depth and more of a commitment to read. I prefer the BBC News article because of the information it gives and the way it presents it so that it's easier to understand, but they're both fine.