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Contact: Ivy Kupec
National Science Foundation

Record-Breaking Super-Earths Discovered in Scorpion Constellation

Caption: Artist conceptualizations offer a graphic representation of radial velocity data that helped to identify the three newest super-Earths around Gliese 667C. Super-Earths are planets more massive than Earth, but less massive than planets like Uranus or Neptune, and are within their star's habitable zone -- not too hot and not too cold -- a thin shell around a star in which water may be present in liquid form if conditions are right. This is the first time that three such planets have been spotted orbiting in this zone in the same system.

Credit: René Heller, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, Germany.

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Related news release: Astronomers detect 3 'super-earths' in nearby star's habitable zone

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