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Three Earth-like planets found outside the Solar System

Three Earth-like planets found outside the Solar System
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By Catherine Hardy with AFP
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The search for life has begun on the newly-discovered exoplanets which are of a similar size to our own.

  • Three Earth-like planets found
  • Similar in size and temperature to our own
  • More details could take 5-10 years
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Scientists have found three new planets in space they say may be the most likely location for alien life they have yet discovered.

“These three planets are the first chance to find chemical traces of life outside our Solar System,” said astrophysicist Michaël Gillon.

Astronomers in eapsMIT</a> discover three potentially habitable Earth-sized <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/exoplanets?src=hash">#exoplanets</a> <a href="https://t.co/awWjYwaOGb">https://t.co/awWjYwaOGb</a> <a href="https://t.co/64KhQXl7nj">pic.twitter.com/64KhQXl7nj</a></p>&mdash; MIT (MIT) May 2, 2016

Fact

They circle a star just 40 light-years away – the ultracool dwarf star “Trappist-1”.

Fact

They are all of a similar size, temperature and chemical composition to Earth.

Fact

They were detected using a 60cm infrared telescope based in Chile.

Fact

Exact information on their size and characteristics will take 5-10 years to obtain.

Question

They could be in the “habitable zone” of their host star – meaning living conditions could be similar to Earth.

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