3 new planets could host life

Story highlights

  • Scientists discovered 3 planets in the "habitable zone" of their host stars
  • Kepler-69c seems less clearly in the habitable zone than the other two planets
  • They are all more than 1,000 light-years away
  • The Kepler satellite is looking at more than 150,000 stars for possible planets orbiting them
In the midst of chaos here on Earth, scientists are finding hope for life on other planets.
Scientists announced Thursday the discovery of three planets that are some of the best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our own solar system -- and they're very far away.
NASA's Kepler satellite, which is keeping an eye on more than 150,000 stars in hopes of identifying Earth-like planets, found the trio.
Two of the planets -- Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f -- are described in a study released Thursday in the journal Science. They are part of a five-planet system in which the candidates for life are the farthest from the host star.
Their host star -- which corresponds to Earth's sun, but is smaller and cooler -- takes the name Kepler-62. The star's planets are designated by letters after the star's name.
A third planet that's potentially habitable, but not included in the Science study, is called Kepler-69c. A study about it and its system is published in The Astrophysical Journal.
These are the smallest planets ever found in the "habitable zone," the area near a star in which a planet can theoretically hold liquid water. Kepler-69c seems less clearly in the habitable zone than the other two pl