On Wednesday, February 22, NASA announced the discovery of seven potentially habitable Earth-sized planets orbiting a tiny, ultra-cool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1, located just 40 light years from Earth.

These alien worlds were observed by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. And their discovery sets a new record for the greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system.

NASA issued a press release explaining that this discovery “sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system.” The discovery is incredibly exciting because, as NASA explains, “All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.”

The details of the discovery are published in the journal Nature.

About the Author

Jason McClellan is an author, podcaster, TV personality, veteran UFO researcher & journalist, bourbon enthusiast, ska and punk devotee, vegan, and animal lover. You might have seen him on NatGeo, Syfy, History, or at conferences talking about UFOs.

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