Arizona-led study discovers three Earth-sized planets

Jan 20, 2015, 11:11 AM | Updated: 11:11 am
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LISTEN: Ian Crossfield, UA astronomer

PHOENIX — A study led by the University of Arizona found three Earth-sized planets in a nearby star system.

“We’ve been specifically looking for small planets nearby small, cool stars,” astronomer Ian Crossfield with UA said.

A star cooler in temperature could allow nearby planets to be habitable by organisms similar to those on Earth. Crossfield said the planets, about 100 light years from Earth, could bear a resemblance to our own home.

“The outermost of these three planets, which is only a little bit bigger than the Earth, could potentially have a surface temperature similar to that we experience right here on Earth,” he said.

Despite similarities to Earth, Crossfield said it will be decades until researchers can determine if it is suitable for exploration.

The discovery was made using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Numerous scientists worldwide contributed to the study.

KTAR’s Corbin Carson contributed to this report.

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Arizona-led study discovers three Earth-sized planets