Astronomers Find 7 Earth-Size Planets

Hidden Gems of Orion

NPR

Astronomers Find 7 Earth-Size Planets Around A Nearby Star

A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.

The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.

The strange planetary system is quite compact, with all of these worlds orbiting their star closer than Mercury orbits the sun, according to a newly published report in Nature.

“If you were on the surface of one of these planets, you would see the other ones as we see the moon, or a bit smaller,” says Michaël Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium. “The view would be very impressive.”

The cool, reddish star is about 40 light-years away, in the constellation Aquarius. “It’s a very tiny star,” says Gillon, “10 times smaller than the sun.”…Read More