This star's small grouping of planets now boasts the most Earth-sized worlds of any system astronomers have discovered, and the most exoplanets that may be able to support surface life and water.
"This is an amazing planetary system, not only because we have found so many planets, but because they are all surprisingly similar in size to Earth," said Michaël Gillon, astronomer from the University of Liège in Belgium and lead author of the paper about the discovery published in the journal Nature.
All seven planets that surround the ultra cool star — which has only about 8 percent the mass of our own sun — orbit more tightly to their host than any of the planets in our system are to the sun.
"They would fit within the orbit of Mercury with oodles of room to spare," Shostak says. "A year on any of these worlds would be less than three weeks, and in the case of the innermost planet, only 36 hours. You'd have a hard time keeping up with birthdays."
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