Kepler K2 finds 3 small (rocky?) planets orbiting nearby M star

The first planetary system has been found with the Kepler K2 mission. Three main points about why this is really exciting:

1) It is close by, so we can follow up and look at the planets' atmospheres and figure out which ones are rocky and which ones are Mini-Neptunes.

2) The outermost orbits are almost exactly at the inner edge of the empirical Habitable Zone, which could indicate a super-Venus or super-Earth, depending on atmosphere and cloud coverage.

3) It shows that we can still find many such systems with the Kepler K2 mission.

If it were a bit further out, the third planet would be smack in the Habitable Zone. Maybe the next system...(fingers crossed) -- it's exciting.

Paper can be found on astroph - submitted to ApJ

Klarman Hall at sunset

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