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NASA Discovered A Planetary System With 7 Earth-Like Planets

23 Feb 2017, 02:49 UTC
NASA Discovered A Planetary System With 7 Earth-Like Planets
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NASA discovered a record number of potentially habitable planets orbiting another star.

NASA announced that the agency’s Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a system of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting another star. Three of the planets fall well within their host star’s habitable zone and may host water at their surface. The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The discovery marks the first time a planetary system comprised of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star has been found. The planetary system also set a record for the greatest number of planets found within the habitable zone of a star.

Initial observations indicate that all seven planets are Earth-sized, are likely to be rocky in composition and have the potential to have water. Three of the planets lie in the star’s habitable zone where liquid water can be sustained at the surface. Additional observations will be required to determine if any of the planets have water at their surface.

“This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate said in a statement. “Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is ...

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