Scientists may have discovered one of the most crowded planetary systems so far.
A seventh planet has been found orbiting the dwarf star KIC 11442793, which lies some 2,500 light years from Earth. But all of the planets in the system orbit much closer to their star than those in our own solar system.
The planet was discovered with the help of volunteers using the Planet Hunters websites, which lets enthusiasts trawl through the public data from NASA's Kepler telescope which searches for so-called exoplanets – worlds orbiting distant stars.
Kepler searches for planets using the transit method, which involves scanning the cosmos for the dip in light when a planet passes in front of its host star.
Oxford University's Dr Chris Lintott, co-author of the Planet Hunters paper, said, "This is the first seven-planet system from Kepler, using a transiting search. We think (the identification) is very secure. With a transiting system, once you get multiple planets, the odds of them being false positives are very small." The new planet is the fifth furthest from the system's host star, 2.8 times the size of Earth and orbits its sun in just 125 days.