Researchers have detected three Earth-like planets orbiting a star close to our Sun. The two inner planets are orbiting just outside the inner edge of their star’s habitable zone, but the researchers believe the third planet likely lies within or beyond the habitable zone. The size and brightness of the star, an ultracool dwarf star located about 39 light years from Earth, allows researchers to conduct further detailed studies of these planets, including studying their atmospheres and identifying the presence of biomarkers such as water, carbon dioxide, and ozone. At this point, the authors don’t have insufficient information to speculate on the planets’ ability to host life.
Michaël Gillon, Emmanuël Jehin, Susan M. Lederer, Laetitia Delrez, Julien de Wit, Artem Burdanov, Valérie Van Grootel, Adam J. Burgasser, Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Cyrielle Opitom, Brice-Olivier Demory, Devendra K. Sahu, Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi, Pierre Magain & Didier Queloz.
Original paper, published on May 2, 2016 in Nature.