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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Super-Earth in 6-Planet System May Have Oceans, Life

•, By Adam Mann
 A newly discovered exoplanet joins the small but growing list of worlds other than our own that may host life.

The exoplanet is a super-Earth, having about seven times the mass of our home planet, but orbits its parent star at roughly the same distance as Earth does from the sun. The star, HD 40307, is located about 42 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pictor. It’s what’s known as an orange dwarf star, making it somewhat smaller and dimmer than our sun, but not by much.

Three exoplanets were discovered around HD 40307 in 2008, but a team of European astronomers has reanalyzed data from the star and found the system contains three more worlds. This makes it look much more like our own solar system, with its eight planets.


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