A team of astronomers have discovered 60 new planets orbiting stars close to Earth’s solar system.
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.
Gliese 411b is located 8 light years from earth. A light year, which measures distance in space, equals 6 trillion miles.
The discoveries are based on observations taken over 20 years by U.S. astronomers using the Keck-I telescope in Hawaii as part of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey.
“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, researcher working on the project.