Astronomers: Billions of ‘super-Earths’ in habitable zone of red dwarf stars

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If you're trying to count how many planets could be candidates for harboring life in our galaxy, this might blow your mind: Scientists now say there could be billions of them. Astronomers working with the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) HARPS instrument estimate that in our galaxy, there are tens of billions of rocky planets not so much bigger than Earth orbiting red dwarf stars within the habitable zones of those relatively cool stars. A habitable zone is the area in a star system where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface without boiling away or staying frozen. Specifically, the planets that have astronomers so excited are called super-Earths, meaning they can…

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