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.
Thursday’s animated Doodle shows earth peering through a telescope to find its seven friendly neighbors, just 235 trillion miles away.
Scientists said the newly discovered solar system, Trappist-1, is significant because three of its seven planets orbit in the “habitable zone”; their proximity to the system’s star suggests the right conditions for holding liquid water. The other four could also potentially be hospitable to living organisms.
Researchers don’t yet know whether any of the planets are habitable, but they believe it’s promising.
“This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” NASA administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement. “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.”