Scientists Spot 2 'Super-Earth' Planets Orbiting Star 100 Light-Years Away; One May Be Suitable for Life

An international team of researchers found a pair of “super-Earth” planets orbiting a small, cool star about 100 light years away from Earth, and scientists believe one of the planets may be suitable for life.

The first planet, called LP 890-9b, was first found by NASA on a mission dedicated to search for planets orbiting nearby stars. It is around 30% larger than Earth and completes a full revolution around its star in 2.7 days, according to Belgium’s University of Liège, which published the research in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The findings confirmed NASA’s initial space-based observations with ground SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) telescopes in Chile and Spain that are adept at determining planet characteristics.

However, the researchers were also able to make a discovery of their own — a second, previously undetected planet that is in the so-called “habitable zone” around its star.

That planet, LP 890-9c, is around 40% larger than Earth but takes around 8.5 days to orbit around its sun. Its orbital period and distance from the star could mean it has the potential to sustain life elements like water.