An artist's impression of the Kepler-11 planetary system. Photograph: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle/Nature Magazine.
The BBC and Guardian are reporting that NASA has used the Kepler telescope to find a new solar system with six planets close to their sun:
Astronomers have discovered a planetary system made up of six planets orbiting a Sun-like star that is more than 2,000 light years from Earth. It is the largest number of planets found so far around a single star. More than 100 planets have been seen outside our solar system, but most are Jupiter-like gas giants, and almost all are in single-planet systems. Jack Lissauer, a scientist at Nasa's Ames research centre in California and a lead author on a paper published tomorrow in the journal Nature, said that the Kepler-11 finding was "the biggest thing in exoplanets since the discovery of 51 Pegasi B, the first exoplanet, back in 1995".A list of papers (with links to texts) on the Kepler telescope is here. See more here and here. The telescope is getting ever closer to discovering the so-called 'holy grail' of astronomy - finding an Earth-like planet in a Goldilocks zone capable of sustaining life.