(Astronomy) There is a triplet of Earth-sized planet candidates orbiting a star just 12 light-years away, a new study has found. And one appears to be in the habitable zone.
All three candidates are thought to be at least 1.4 to 1.8 times the mass of Earth, and orbit the star every three to 13 days, which would put the entire system well within Mercury’s 88 day orbit of the Sun. The planet orbiting the star every 13 days, dubbed planet d, is most interesting to scientists — it falls within the star’s habitable zone where liquid water could exist on the surface.
“We are now one step closer [to] getting a census of rocky planets in the solar neighborhood,” said Ignasi Ribas, co-author on the new paper and researcher at the Institute of Space Sciences in Barcelona, Spain.
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