A NASA telescope has discovered seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star 40 light-years away, and all of them could host water or life.
Three of the planets exist in the so-called "habitable zone," the orbital regions around the star where conditions most likely could support life.
This is the greatest number of exoplanets astronomers have found in the habitable zone of a single star.
"The discovery gives us a hint that finding the next Earth is not a question of if, but of when," said NASA Science Directorate head Thomas Zurbuchen, in a press conference Wednesday.
Over the last 20 years or so, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets using higher powered telescopes, but only a few among them appear to be habitable planets.
NASA researchers announced the findings Wednesday.
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