Potentially Habitable Planets of Star Gliese 667C Explained (Infographic)

Infographic: Gliese 667C, a star with three potentially habitable super-Earth planets.
Three "super-Earth" planets with the capacity to have liquid water and therefore the potential for life, orbit a star 22 light-years from Earth. (Image credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Infographics Artist)

Gliese 667C is a well-studied nearby star, one component of a triple-star system.

At least six planets orbit the star, three of them within the habitable zone where liquid surface water can exist. These three planets are expected to be tidally locked, always showing the same face to their sun as they orbit.

Images: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Planets of Gliese 667C

The three exoplanets within the habitable zone are called Gliese 667C c, f and e. Planet c has a radius 1.8 times that of Earth and orbits its star in 28 Earth days. Planet f has 1.5 times the Earth’s radius and orbits in 39 days. Planet e is the same size as f and orbits in 62 days.

Three Super-Earths in Habitable Zone Of Nearby Star | Orbit Animation

The star Gliese 667C is a red dwarf, smaller than our sun and only 1.4 percent as bright. The star’s distance from Earth is about 22 light-years, in the constellation Scorpius.

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Karl Tate
Space.com contributor

Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  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 and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.