Three super-Earths discovered in habitable zone of same star ‘for the first time’

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Astronomers have found a record number of super-Earths orbiting in the habitable zone of a known star, 22 light years away from Earth. The planets, which have three suns, have one side illuminated at all times while the other is submerged in darkness.

The Gliese 667C star in the constellation of Scorpion has been well studied before. However, as a result of new observations the scientists made a stunning revelation – instead of three previously known planets the astronomers discovered up to seven, three of which are in the habitable zone of the star where liquid water could exist. All of those three planets are so-called super-Earths.

This is the first time that three such planets have been spotted orbiting in this zone in the same system,” said one of the authors of the study, Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire, UK. “By adding some new observations and revisiting existing data we were able to confirm these three and confidently reveal several more. Finding three low-mass planets in the star’s habitable zone is very exciting!”

The sky around Gliese 667C (image from
The sky around Gliese 667C (image from

“These planets are good candidates to have a solid surface and maybe an atmosphere like the Earth’s, not something like Jupiter’s,” said co-author Rory Barnes in a press release issued by University of Washington.

Barnes added that they are located close to each other which “makes it like they are tidally locked,”which in this case means the same hemisphere always faces the star.

“Fortunately, we know that this state can still support life,” he said.

Gliese 667C is a low-mass star in a triple star system Gliese 667 located 22 light years away from our Sun. It is the dimmest star in the system, and it has the habitable zone as “low-mass stars are intrinsically faint” and cooler. Moreover, this is the first system found with a fully packed habitable zone, according to the study which is to appear in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal.

The habitable zone of Gliese 667C lies entirely within an orbit the size of Mercury’s around the Sun.

Planets within the star’s habitable zone are also called Goldilock planets. The  three  potentially habitable planets of this system are expected to always have the same side facing the star, so that their day and year will be the same lengths, with one side in perpetual sunshine and the other always night.

Viewed from these newly found three planets, the other two suns in the system would look like a pair of very bright stars visible at the daytime, and at night they would illuminate the planets as the full Moon illuminated the Earth, the study says.

The number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy is much greater if we can expect to find several of them around each low-mass star — instead of looking at ten stars to look for a single potentially habitable planet, we now know we can look at just one star and find several of them,” adds co-author Rory Barnes.

Similar systems have been found before, however, most them were centered around stars which are too hot to be habitable.

image from www.eso.orgimage from

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  • Barn Cat

    So what? We’ll never get there. It’s too far. And there isn’t life elsewhere in the universe. Just here on earth. That’s all God created. If you don’t believe it, where’s the Federation or the Galactic Empire. How come we haven’t been publicly contacted with a ship landing by the UN?

    • tayronachan

      It’s a sorry state of affairs if we are all the universe has to offer.

    • Barn Crap

      With the way our government lies whos to say we havent been contacted and WE tried to probe them? You know as well as I that the gov sure likes to stick shit in everyone.

      Besides why would an advanced civilization want to come to Earth? Just look at your narrow minded comment and intolerance to anything that MIGHT be different than the crap you have been feed your whole life.

      I have seen your posts and others here and the hate and rhetoric spews constantly. You are no better than those you put down. Ignorant and intolerant, wouldnt Jesus just be so fucking proud of you…

    • SKIP

      Because blacks would steal so many parts from the space ship that it could not get off the ground again and congress would tax the rest~!

      • akvalmet30

        Skip, you made my day! I laughed so hard at your post I almost cried. I don’t feel the Jews would ever allow anyone besides them relocating to another planet even if it was possible, they are bunch of control freaks who believe they are the “masters” over anyone else. Talk about a Real bunch of Nazi’s.

  • Barn Cat

    Besides, in order to have life a planet needs to have a liquid core so there’s a magnetic field to protect the planet from solar radiation.

    • Barn Crap

      Lol now you are a scientist. Damn you got a flat Earth mentality then start shitting science out like you have a clue. Fucking retarded cunt.

    • SKIP

      Solar radiation don’t kill people, hostile and dangerous “minorities” do

  • Heimdall

    Good, maybe they will discover a planet to settle where white people will not be assailed by anti-white racists who are jealous and vindictive.

    • SKIP

      ROGER THAT Heimdall, see my following comment. Also read and follow uuuuuu dot sbpdl dot com

  • reasons

    Please…Exactly HOW do we know that planets which have the same hemisphere always facing a star can support life? Where is the evidence of such a claim? And yet this article says that new planets discovered which are “habitable”. Give me a break!

  • SKIP

    WOW a place we can move to IF we can live another ohhhhhhhh say one hundred million earth years! Maybe we could send the blacks and muslims there instead and in that way, solve the problems we have on this planet.

  • Ken, your UK friend

    Must you lower the tone of everything Skip. Up until now I was enjoying what amounted to a serious astronomical discovery. Under current technology it is impossible to go to the stars but who knows what discoveries await? I look forward to the possibility of a manned mission to Mars.

  • Jimbo

    It would be vain to think the creator only made us. I’d like to think he made a variety of life in the universe which is expanding therefore infinite. Open your mind to that possibility and you will truly know God is infinite! We already know life is tenacious and hangs on in the worst situations!

  • Brent from Texas

    These far away planets are probably already populated by aliens with butt-shaped heads and probably don’t smell very pleasant anyway, so I think I’ll stay where I’m at.

  • Ken, your UK friend

    They have their own issues Brent my son. However it is pointless to talk about it till we can communicate directly. The internet allows productive dialogue between Britain, Russia, America etc and Google now does all the translating. Nice 1. I spend all evening on this smartfone in communico with friends in America LOL. Perhaps i’d better drop the gadgets next time I go to the pub and socialise like we all did 20 years ago. I’d be happier.
    Look after yourself old boy. You strike me as a winner. I wish you God speed.