space cat

Astronomers Have Found Planets in the Habitable Zone of a Nearby Star

The robot telescope settles on its target, a star that sits closer than all but a tiny fraction of the tens of billions of stellar systems that make up the Milky Way. Its mirror grabs light for 55 seconds, again and again. The robot telescope—called TRAPPIST—will observe the star for 245 hours across sixty-two nights, making 12,295 measurements. Eleven times, it will see the star dim, ever so slightly. This dip in luminosity, called a transit, has a straightforward astronomical explanation: It’s a planet passing in front of the star, blocking just a bit of its light. In this case, the transits tell us that 3 planets orbit the star.

“So what?” you might think.

  • Shebel

    Makes sense to me .

  • Ed

    Sowahardy has already claimed them.

    • John

      Sowahardy will now claim there’s a cryptic reference to them in the Koran.

      • andycanuck

        Kim Jong-Un is going to be p1ssed! They’re his planets!

  • Hard Little Machine

    The UN already condemned the Jews for potentially illegally occupying the 7th, 8th and 9th most holy sites in all of Islam in direct violation of the rights of the ‘palestinians’.

  • John

    So has Goldilocks been found?

  • andycanuck

    I vaguely recall that the last time they were making a big deal out of planets found in the habitable zone, they were also thought to be gas giants that to the best of our current knowledge are uninhabitable.