Support the news

A New Solar System With 7 'Earthlike' Planets Discovered06:46
Download

Play
This illustration provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows an artist's conception of what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system may look like, based on available data about their diameters, masses and distances from the host star. The planets circle tightly around a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, barely the size of Jupiter. Three are in the so-called habitable zone, where liquid water and, possibly life, might exist. The others are right on the doorstep. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)
This illustration provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows an artist's conception of what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system may look like, based on available data about their diameters, masses and distances from the host star. The planets circle tightly around a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, barely the size of Jupiter. Three are in the so-called habitable zone, where liquid water and, possibly life, might exist. The others are right on the doorstep. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

There is news today from a group of scientists who have discovered a new solar system.

It's just 39 light years away -- close, by cosmic standards -- and the system has seven warm, rocky and Earth-like planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1. It's the first time astronomers have ever found so many terrestrial planets orbiting a single star, and it could be a step toward finding another planet like our own.

Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spoke today at a NASA press briefing, saying, "With this discovery, we've made a giant accelerated leap forward in the search for habitable worlds and life on other worlds."

Guest

Kelly Beatty, senior editor at Sky & Telescope. He tweets @NightSkyGuy.

This segment aired on February 22, 2017.

Related:

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news