- This doubles the number of small planets (less than twice the diameter of Earth) believed to be in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Among these eight, the team identified two that are the most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets to date.
- To be in the habitable zone, an exoplanet must receive about as much sunlight as Earth. Too much, and any water would boil away as steam. Too little, and water will freeze solid.
- "We don't know for sure whether any of the planets in our sample are truly habitable," explains second author David Kipping of the CfA. "All we can say is that they're promising candidates."
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