NASA Discovers Seven Earth-Like Habitable Planets

By Pritpal Singh | Feb 25, 2017 07:12 AM EST
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has made an exciting new discovery and has found seven earth like planets orbiting a star that is 40 light years away. This discovery is rare as the newly discovered planets have a similar size to that of earth and similar temperature which means that could have water on their surface and potentially support life.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed this remarkable discovery. According to NASA, three of these seven planets are located in the habitable zone and the area around the parent star is most likely to have liquid water. This discovery has set a new record for the greatest number of habitable zone planets to be found around a single star outside our solar system, reported CNN.

These seven planets are called exoplanets and these are found in a tight formation around an ultra-cool star called Traepist-1. The estimated mass of these planets indicate that they have a rocky terrain rather than being gaseous planets like Jupiter, reported VOX. The three planets which are in the habitable zone are called Traepist-1e, f and g. It is also believed that these planets may have oceans on their surface.

The researchers believe that Traepist-1f is the best among the three habitable planets for supporting life because it has the right atmosphere, enough greenhouse gases and it bit cooler than earth. The new planets' discovery has been made possible because of the star's dimness. When astronomers search for exoplanets they typically look for temporary dimming of a star as it indicates that a planet has passed in front of it.

"This is the most exciting result I have seen in the 14 years of Spitzer operations," said Sean Carey, manager of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena, California. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has started the screening of these planets including the three planets inside the habitable zone. The telescope will access the presence hydrogen atmospheres for the presence of gases around these planets.

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