Our neighbourhood in space is turning out to be quite the populous planet precinct. Astronomers have found a new exoplanet just a little bit bigger than Earth, orbiting a red dwarf star just 66.5 light-years away.

It’s an excellent candidate, they say, to help fill our vast knowledge gap about the small, rocky planet population of our Milky Way galaxy.

Our detection ability and knowledge of exoplanets has practically exploded since the first discovery was published in 1992. At time of writing, over 4,100 exoplanets have been confirmed in our galaxy, and we now have a much deeper understanding of planetary systems and how they form and evolve.