BENTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Just one day after an “out of this world” announcement from NASA, students and staff from Keystone College reacted to the news with excitment.

For more than 50 years, Tom Cupillari has been staring-up into space from the Keystone College observatory near Fleetville.

While not totally surprised, he calls this week’s exoplanet discovery “neat.”

“It’s something different than what we’ve seen before!” Cupillari said.

Forty light-years from Earth, astronomers have found seven planets orbiting a nearby star and they believe some could possibly hold life.

According to NASA, the planets circle around a dim, dwarf star called “Trappest-1” which is roughly the size of Jupiter.

“We’re starting to find that stars of almost any type could or do have planets around them. That’s exciting!” Cupillari said.

Keystone College does have astronomy classes and science is one of the biggest majors so the announcement certainly has students talking.

“I honestly thought it was amazing because there’s already so much out there that we don’t know about!” sophomore Shirlynne Wademan said.

Scientists believe one or more of the exoplanets in this new system could have oceans on their surface, something that fascinates students interested in astronomy.

“It would be interesting to know the environment, the culture, if there’s any species or specimens,” senior Aubrey Quirindongo said.

The planets are 235-trillion miles from Earth but researchers say they can be studied.

“It definitely gets me more into it, more excited!” junior Mandy Jadick said.

The Keystone College observatory is open to the public. It will begin its spring programs in the middle of March. Roughly 3,000 people visit the observatory every year.