PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — NASA is discovering extra-solar planets all the time. So far, they’ve found 5,000. That’s a planet outside the Milkyway that orbits a star.

Recently, they discovered a planet a little larger than Earth in a habitable zone of its star with possible liquid water.

Astronomers are most excited that this planet is relatively close to Earth, just about 100 light-years away. It’s also orbiting a star that’s a little cooler than ours.

“Hopefully as our scientific ability to categorize them and to study their atmospheres develop, we’ll be able to find out if they truly do have water on them,” said Renae Kerrigan, curator of science and planetarium director at the Riverfront Museum. “And maybe even look for biosignatures like methane in their atmosphere that could signify that there is something living on that world.”

There are currently about 500 Earth-like planets that NASA has discovered.

“To think that there could be life on those other worlds possibly is really exciting. There’s always something new to learn in astronomy. There’s always going to be more to discover, and so it’ll be fun to watch those discoveries unfold,” said Kerrigan.