NASA announces exoplanets, 3 of which are in the “Goldilocks zone,” the region around a star that has just the right conditions to for extraterrestrial life.
“If one of these planets hosts life and the adjacent one doesn't, why not?” asks Sarah Ballard, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.
Seven Earth-sized worlds have been located just 12 parsecs (39 light years) from Earth. According to NASA, astronomers have found other seven-planet systems before, but this is the first to have so many potentially habitable Earth-sized worlds. All of them orbit at the right distance to possibly have liquid water somewhere on their surfaces.
“This is a Rosetta stone with seven different languages — seven different planets that can provide us with completely different perspectives on planet formation,” adds team member Julien de Wit, a data scientist at MIT.
You can read more in the journal Nature.