Seven of the 715 new planets recently discovered by NASA all orbit the star Kepler-90; the finding reveals the first-known seven planet system that crosses in front of its host star.
The discovery was made by University of Washington astronomer Eric Agol, a University of Washington news release reported. He also helped to confirm that the object being studies was a planetary system.
In the seven planet system two of the objects are believed to be Earth-sized. There are also believed to be three Super-Earths, which are "planets larger in mass than Earth but less than 10 times [or] so," the news release reported.
The system resembles our own because the smaller planets orbit closer to their host star while the larger planets reside farther away.
The Kepler-90 system is 2,500 light-years away and sits in the Draco constellation (a light-year is about six-trillion miles). The system is tightly packed together, with the farthest-away planets orbiting their host star at a distance comparable to the Earth and its Sun.
Four of the 715 recently discovered planets are 2.5 times the size of Earth and orbiting within their host star's habitable zone, the news release reported ( the distance at which liquid water and even life could be present).
Many of the newly-discovered planets are members of systems containing more than one planet-like object. In total NASA researchers discovered the 715 stars orbiting 305 different stars. The majority of these new planets are smaller than our own Neptune. All of the newly-discovered planets were detected using the Kepler Space Telescope.
"The NASA discovery substantially brings to 1,700 the total number of confirmed exoplanets, or worlds beyond our own solar system. Visit online for more information about the Kepler mission," the news release reported.