New Planet: Among Seven Found, Three Are In Habitable Zone



” Using new observation of Gliese 667C, astronomers found seven planets circling a star, including three super-Earths orbiting in the habitable zone. Gliese 667 is a triple-star system in the constellation of Scorpius that has masses smaller than Sun.

As published in Science Daily June 25, 2013, a team of astronomers has combined new observations of Gliese 667C with existing data from the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at La Silla’s European Southern Observatory (ESO) 3.6-metre telescope in Chile, to reveal a system with at least six planets. A record-breaking three of these planets are super-Earths lying in the zone around the star where liquid water could exist, making them possible candidates for the presence of life.


Gliese 667 lies at a distance of about 22 light years from Earth. To the naked eye, the system appears to be a single faint star. Gliese 667C is the smallest stellar component of this system, with only around 31% of the mass of the Sun and 42% of the Sun’s radius. This star is radiating only 1.4% of the Sun’s luminosity from its outer atmosphere at a relatively cool temperature.”