HATFIELD: Scientists say they've discovered a planet outside our solar system that is close to Earth in size — far different from the behemoths they had previously seen so far.

Scientists attending a conference in England said Tuesday that a planet less than twice the size of Earth has been located in a galaxy outside our solar system.

As many as 300 so called exoplanets — or planets outside our solar system — have been discovered, but most are much larger than Earth.

The BBC is quoting scientist Xavier Bonfils of the Grenoble Observatory in France as saying the new planet is the least massive exoplanet ever detected.

Researcher Michel Mayor says the new planet is probably too hot for human life because it sits very close to the sun-like star it orbits.

Mayor made the announcement at a press conference during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science.