Almost as soon as astronomers turned their search towards small stars, they found a bounty of Earth-sized planets.
Last May, astronomers announced that they'd found three planets orbiting a small, cool star situated near Aquarius, 40 light-years away from Earth.
They doubled down on their announcement yesterday by declaring that seven Earth-sized planets, likely rocky in composition, orbited Trappist-1 in the star's "Goldilocks zone" where life-permitting temperatures prevail.
The success validated a change in strategy for astronomers, who for decades have ignored dwaft stars like Trappist-1, which is 200 times dimmer than our sun. While it's possible that astronomers were really lucky in finding so many planets, it's more likely that we've been underestimating the number of Earth-like planets.
The money line from a Cambridge astronomer not involved in the discovery: "We’ve made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there."
Notably, many astrologers contend we are currently in the Age of Aquarius.