NASA's Kepler telescope has discovered a star with six planets, the largest collection of planets yet spotted orbiting a single star.
Today, the team running NASA's Kepler observatory is announcing the largest collection of planets yet spotted orbiting a single star. That star, now called Kepler-11, hosts at least a half-dozen planets, most in orbits closer to their star than Mercury is to ours. The tightly packed system consists of low-density planets, suggesting that they have a substantial gas or liquid composition at distances close enough to the star that the material risks boiling off. The whole thing, from the orbits to the planets themselves, appears to be teetering on the edge of stability.