NASA has just announced the discovery of seven previously unknown earth-size planets orbiting a single dwarf star, which scientists believe could be the best place to look for life, and the Google team could hardly contain its excitement.
The colorful doodle, which was crafted by Nate Swinehart, graced the home page one day after NASA announced the discovery of seven exoplanets some 40 light-years away, part of what scientists have named the TRAPPIST-1 system ― after the TRAPPIST telescope that found them.
All the seven planets are described as being the size of Earth, and at least three of them are in the habitable zone of the star, where a planet is most likely to contain liquid water. However, scientists said that under the right conditions, all seven could potentially have water.
NASA said the discovery is the largest of its kind.
“This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life”, Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement, who is the associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal”.