Finding another 7 'earthlike' planets, what next?

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NEW solar system
NEW solar system

Los Angeles : NASA on Wednesday announced that life may have evolved on at least three planets in a newly discovered solar system. This system is just 39 light years from Earth and have no less than seven Earth-sized worlds orbiting a cool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1.

The temperature in which these six inner planets lie range from zero to 100C and are thought to be capable of having oceans, thus increasing the likelihood of life.

Researchers have admitted that no other star system known contains such a large number of Earth-sized and probably rocky planets.

British astronomer Dr Chris Copperwheat, from Liverpool John Moores University, who co-led the international team, said: "The discovery of multiple rocky planets with surface temperatures which allow for liquid water make this amazing system an exciting future target in the search for life. As a robotic telescope and the largest in the world, the Liverpool telescope is very sensitive to the small, less-than-1-per-cent dips in brightness through which the planets are discovered. It's all automated, it's flexible and fast, and so is ideal for this sort of time critical work."

The discovery was made with the help of a robotic telescope that was operated by Liverpool John Moores University.

The instrument supported the observations made by American space agency Nasa's orbiting Spitzer telescope.