3 new planets discovered could harbor life

All are approximately Earth-sized and have could have Earth-like temperatures.

By Scott Stenholm - Editorial Producer, Larry King Now 

Three more potentially "Earth-like" planets have been discovered only 40 light years away. Researchers using a telescope at ESO’s La Silla observatory in Chile have identified three Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting a star. 

Researchers believe that the planets have temperatures ranging from Earthlike to Venuslike. They orbit their host star similar to how Earth orbits our Sun with periods measured in Earth days, not years.

“With such short orbital periods, the planets are between 20 and 100 times closer to their star than the Earth to the Sun,” said Michael Gillon, lead author of the research paper. “The structure of this planetary system is much more similar in scale to the system of Jupiter’s moons than to that of the Solar System.”

Artist rendering: ESO/M KOMMESSER

Last year, Dr. Nick Siegler, Technology Manager for NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, joined Larry King Now and explained that there are over 200 billion planets in our galaxy alone. He also says that the odds are “so high” that life exists on at least one of these planets. 

In the clip below, Dr. Siegler demonstrated how exoplanets are found by NASA's Kepler telescope. Plus, SETI’s Seth Shostak explained why it is highly unlikely that we’re alone in the universe.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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