Artist illustration. Credit: NASA.

A new planet has been discovered only 33 light years from Earth. A planet very similar to Earth in size and has been given the temporary name “UCF-1.01”.

Kepler. Credit: NASA

Planet hunting for planets beyond our solar system is a quite recent phenomenon, but we humans have been doing it since 1995 and by now researchers have found circa 700 exoplanets.

This recent planet was discovered by the space telescope Kepler, named in honor of the 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler) in the system of GJ 436.

It is an unusually small planet is only 2/3 the size of Earth and resides very close to its host star, with one full orbit lasting only 1.4 Earth days.

It is therefore believed to be extremely hot, probably covered with lava and guaranteed to have no atmosphere whatsoever. With a temperature of about 587 Celsius (1,090 Fahrenheit).

Two nearby sub-Earth-sized exoplanet candidates in the GJ 436 system