Scientists might just have found three planets capable of supporting life.
The trio of Earth-like exoplanets, discovered by European astronomers using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, are orbiting a dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1.
“This really is a paradigm shift with regards to the planet population and the path towards finding life in the Universe,” Emmanuël Jehin, a co-author of the new study, said.
These worlds are similar to both Venus and Earth in size and temperature. Two of the planets have orbital periods of about 1.5 days and 2.4 days. The third planet has a less-well determined period in the range of 4.5 to 73 days.
They are the first planets ever discovered around such a tiny star. There's a distance of 40 light-years between the dwarf star and Earth.