Close and Tranquil Solar System Has Astronomers Excited

Source: Astrobiology at NASA »

From the perspective of planet hunters and planet characterizers, a desirable solar system to explore is one that is close to ours, that has a planet (or planets) in the star’s habitable zone, and has a host star that is relatively quiet. This is especially important with the very common red dwarf stars, which are far less luminous than stars such as our sun but tend to send out many more powerful — and potentially planet sterilizing — solar flares.

The prolific members of the mostly European and Chilean Red Dots astronomy team believe they have found such a system about 11 light years away from us. The system — GJ 887 — has…

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