Three New Planets Discovered Around Nearby Star

Geo Beats
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Scientists say they’ve discovered an additional three planets orbiting nearby the star Gliese 667C, bringing the total to six. Three of those planets are believed to be “super-earth’s” orbiting in the star’s so called “habitable zone”.

Scientists say they’ve discovered an additional three planets orbiting nearby the star Gliese 667C, bringing the total to six. Three of those planets are believed to be “super-earth’s” orbiting in the star’s so called “habitable zone”.

They were detected through the use of a group of telescopes including one that incorporates the Harps data. The device detects orbiting planets by looking for signs of gravitational pulls against their stars.

As the system is about 22 light years away, it’s tough to say what the celestial bodies really look like, but given their locations, they could have liquid water.

Even though the planets orbit fairly closely to their star – closer than Mercury does from our sun - Gliese 667c is on the smaller side, so the outlook is hopeful.

To determine if they are capable of supporting life, the scientists would have to confirm the presence of an atmosphere. At this time and from this distance, there isn’t a reliable way to do that.

In the meantime, there is a system for making highly educated guesses. Among other factors, scientists consider surface, energy availability, and environmental chemistry when assigning habitability ratings.

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