To follow up on our planet-per-star- blog yesterday, NASA's planet hunting Kepler spacecraft has found the smallest solar system yet. Named KOI-961, this system is comprised of a red dwarf star and three rocky planets that are smaller than our Earth with one being about the size of Mars.
The planetary trio is too close to their star to be in the habitable zone - the zone around a star that would allow for liquid water to exist and therefore the possibility of life as we know it. But it is exciting to know that a star that is only about 70 % larger than Jupiter can have planets.
Astronomers are comparing KOI-961 to Jupiter and its four main moons as far as being similar in nature and size except for the fact that KOI-961 is a red dwarf star. Finding rocky planets is another big plus in the quest for finding that "Earth-like" planet out there.
Read More About It: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/11jan_smallestexoplanets/
Sky Guy in VA