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Scientists Find 60 New Planets - Could a 'Super Earth' Be Among Them?

02-14-2017

Scientists say they could be close to finding another planet able to support life.

The news comes after researchers report discovering 60 new planets near Earth. And according to Independent, a team of international scientists found 54 more potential planets, making that 114 planets total.

At least one of those planets could be similar to Earth, with conditions able to support life. Researchers say one of the exoplanets, known as Gliese 411-b, is a hot "super Earth." It has a rocky surface and is in the fourth nearest star system to our own.

Scientists believe this could suggest that all the stars near Earth have planets orbiting them -- and those too could be like Earth.

The observations were part of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey, which was started in 1996 by astronomers Steve Vogt and Geoffrey Marcy from the University of California, and Paul Butler from the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington.

"These new planets also help us better understand the formation processes of planetary systems and provide interesting targets for future efforts to image the planets directly," said Dr. Tuomi, the only European based researcher working on the project. 
 

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