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Steven Reilly - Super-Earths: New Planets Found!

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Astronomers working at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile have discovered seven planets orbiting the star Gliese 667C.Two exoplanets have been discovered in the star's habitable zone, which has just the right range of distance where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface.A super-Earth is an extrasolar planet with a mass higher than Earth's, but substantially below the mass of the Solar System's smaller gas giants Uranus and Neptune, which are both more or less 15 Earth masses.The term super-Earth refers only to the mass of the planet, and does not imply anything about the surface conditions or habitability.Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory in Chile found out that 40 per cent of red dwarves are orbited by super-Earths. Red Dwarfs are by far the most common type of star in the Milky Way galaxy, so there might be tens of billions of such planets in our galaxy alone.

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