Not just one, but seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for biological signs of alien life outside of the solar system.
The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light years, or about 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail.
One or more of the exoplanets – planets around stars other than the sun – in this new system could be at the right temperature to be awash in oceans of water, astronomers said, based on the distance of the planets from the dwarf star.
Science is awesome.