"Astronomers have found at least seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star that's 40 light-years away from our planet," reports Ashley Strickland on CNN.
The discovery, which is featured in the journal Nature, was announced at a recent press conference held at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters in Washington.
Michaël Gillon, lead study author and astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium, was quoted as saying, "This is the first time that so many planets of this kind are found around the same star."
"The seven planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail," adds Kenneth Chang in The New York Times.
The CNN report further noted: "This discovery outside of our solar system is rare because the planets have the winning combination of being similar in size to Earth and being all temperate, meaning they could have water on their surfaces and potentially support life."