December 11, 2012 - An ambitious project to catalogue every habitable planet has discovered seven worlds inside the Milky Way that could possibly harbour life.
Marking its first anniversary, the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog said it had far exceeded its expectation of adding one or two new planets this year in its search for a new earth.
In recent years scientists from the Puerto Rico-based Planetary Habitability Laboratory that runs the catalogue have sharpened their techniques for finding new planets outside our solar system.
Chile’s High Accuracy Radial Veolocity Planet Searcher and the orbiting Kepler Space Telescope are two of the many tools that have increased the pace of discoveries.
The Planetary Habitability Laboratory launched the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog last year to measure the suitability for life of these emerging worlds and as a way to organise them for the public.