If you haven't heard, it was released last week that scientists have discovered a solar system 39 light years from us that contains 7 Earth-like planets. Wow! That is super exciting! Well over 1,000 exoplanets (planets in other solar systems) have been discovered, but what makes this new discovery special is the closer proximity to us and number of planets in the same system. This is the largest number of Earth-like planets found in a single solar system.
Scientists discover 7 ‘Earthlike’ planets orbiting a nearby star
What makes them Earth-like? All seven are in this stellar system's habitable zone, a region a specific distance from the star in which temperatures make it possible for liquid water to exist on the surface. With liquid water comes the possibility of life! That's what makes this discovery so exciting. But let's be clear, there is no evidence life exists on these planets. Technology isn't quite there yet to make that determination. All we can say at this point is that life is possible based on the location of these planets relative to the star.
Will we discover life elsewhere in our Galaxy? I honestly believe so and I believe it will happen in my lifetime, possibly in the next decade. How awesome would that be??? Beyond awesome, that's how awesome!!! Discoveries such as this is what makes astronomy and science in general so exciting!