Yesterday, astronomers announced that they’ve discovered seven Earth-sized planets all orbiting the same star. The findings were published in a journal "Nature". NASA says this is a record number of these kinds of planets orbiting this kind of star. It also believes that three of the planets are in what’s called the habitable zone. Scientists define that as the space around the star where a planet is most likely to have water.
This isn’t exactly in our neighborhood. They say the star is 40 light years away and it’d take a human spacecraft millions of years to get there.
So, how did researchers identify planet at that distance? Well, examining stars with the telescope based in Chile, they saw shadows occasionally interrupting the star light. They say that these shadows indicated that planets were passing between the telescope and the star, like eclipses.
What they’re hoping to do in the future is determine the planet’s atmosphere and whether they really have liquid water.