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15 New Planets Discovered Near Solar System

Image: 15 New Planets Discovered Near Solar System

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By    |   Monday, 12 March 2018 01:27 PM

Fifteen new planets have been discovered near our solar system, and at least one is a "super-Earth" that could harbor liquid water, a team of researchers led by Teruyuki Hirano of Tokyo Institute of Technology's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences said.

These new exoplanets were found orbiting small, cool stars, which are also known as red dwarf stars, and scientists have uncovered similar characteristics to planets orbiting solar system stars, the International Business Times noted.

The discovery is based upon data gathered from NASA Kepler spacecraft's second mission, K2, NDTV reported.

Three super-Earths slightly bigger than our own planet were found transiting one of the brightest red dwarfs, K2-155, which is located around 200 light years away from Earth.

Of those three planets, scientists believe that at least one could have liquid water on its surface, based on three-dimensional global climate simulations.

"In our simulations, the atmosphere and the composition of the planet were assumed to be Earth-like, and there's no guarantee that this is the case," Hirano said in a statement, adding that no definitive conclusions could be drawn until further studies were conducted.

However, researchers are excited about the findings, noting that the planets orbiting red dwarfs may have "remarkably similar" characteristics to planets orbiting solar-type stars.

"It's important to note that the number of planets around red dwarfs is much smaller than the number around solar-type stars," Hirano said. "Red dwarf systems, especially coolest red dwarfs, are just beginning to be investigated, so they are very exciting targets for future exoplanet research."

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TheWire
Astronomers discovered 15 planets near our solar system, including at least one "super-Earth" that could be within a habitable zone with the possibility of supporting alien life.
new, planets, near, solar system
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2018-27-12
Monday, 12 March 2018 01:27 PM
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