Small low-mass planets found orbiting three more stars

The discovery of five more low-mass planets orbiting three nearby stars was announced today by scientists from the HARPS project in Europe. The stars, HD 20794, HD 85512 and HD 192310, are three of ten chosen for extended observations, specifically for the purpose of searching for smaller, Earth-sized planets. The planets are all of “super-Earth” size or smaller, with some of them orbiting near the edge or within the habitable zones of their stars. According to the results so far, the findings also back up previous observations which suggest that these types of planets are common around sun-like stars at a rate of 30% or more. The full pdf article is here.