Scientists and astronomers have been intensely studying a nearby star called Gliese 667c. The reason for the intense scrutiny of this relatively close start is that scientists have discovered three planets dubbed super Earths orbiting in star’s habitable zone. The habitable zone of the star is the region where temperatures should allow for the chance of liquid water on the surface of the planet.
Even though Gliese 667c is relatively close on a cosmic scale, the star is actually 22 light years away. That means that no one is actually sure what surface conditions on the planet would be. The star and its orbiting super Earths can be seen in the sky in the constellation Scorpius. Scientists were able determine during previous studies of the star that there were likely to be three planets orbiting within that habitable zone.
Originally, only one planet was discovered and described as slightly larger than the Earth with a rocky surface. A recent re-examination of the star system led by astronomers from Germany and the UK is re-examined star system and discovered more planets. The star itself is a low luminosity M-dwarf star that is about one-third the mass of our Sun. Since the star is dimmer than the sun, it’s habitable zone is much closer to the star than the habitable zone in our solar system.
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