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Tiny Planets Around a Tiny Star (Infographic)

Three alien planets, among the smallest known, orbit a red dwarf star in a solar system resembling the planet Jupiter and its moons.
Three alien planets, among the smallest known, orbit a red dwarf star in a solar system resembling the planet Jupiter and its moons. (Image credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor)

On Jan. 11, 2012, astronomers announced the discovery of a miniature solar system made up of three tiny planets - all of them smaller than Earth - in orbit around the red dwarf star KOI-961 about 130 light-years from Earth. The planets are the smallest alien worlds yet discovered and were found using NASA's Kepler space observatory. See how the small alien planets stack up to our own solar system and Jupiter in the SPACE.com infographic above.

Editor's note: This infographic was corrected on Jan. 12, 2012 to include the correct diameter of Mars.

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Karl Tate
Karl's association with SPACE.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. Starting in 2010, Karl has been TechMediaNetwork's infographics specialist across all editorial properties.  Before joining SPACE.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating  news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Karl on Google+.