So scientists have discovered what they're dubbing "super-Earths" circling a star 42-light years away. That's an artist's depiction of what they might look like if they were identical in appearance to earth and weren't actually pink with purple polka-dots like I know they are. Three have been identified so far, and they were detected not by sight, but by the effects they have on the star they orbit.
Using a new tool to study more than 100 stars once thought to be devoid of planets, the Swiss-French team found that about one-third had planets that are only slightly bigger than Earth.
That's how the star with three super-Earths, 42 light-years away, was spotted. The European team took a second look with a relatively new instrument that measures tiny changes in light wave lengths and is so sensitive that it is precisely positioned and locked in a special room below the observatory in Chile. And the key is kept in Switzerland, scientists say.
So, you're probably still wondering what the hell a super-Earth is, aren't you? Well you're in luck, because I'm a scientist and I just happen to know. Super-Earths are planets similar to Earth, but have gained super powers -- like the ability to see through another planet's shirt and ogle its mountains.
Astronomers find 'super Earths' circling a star [yahoonews]
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