Google's Doodles, those little pictures you see when you go to their main search page, typically acknowledge that day's holiday, anniversary, or, occasionally, make a subtle political point. But today's is pure joy, a nice reminder that there is still stuff to get excited about in these fraught and gloomy times.
Celebrating the discovery announced Wednesday of seven previously unknown "Earthlike" planets orbiting a single star in a nearby solar system, the doodle depicts an animated Earth and moon making a cosmic connection with the new planets, which our sister site Gothamist says
...are all Earth-sized, are located a mere 39 light years away, and orbit a center "ultracool dwarf" star dubbed TRAPPIST-1. (Named for the "Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope" in Chile.) It appears TRAPPIST-1 is so ultracool its orbiting planets can hold liquid water, and at least three of them are in "the habitable zone," so in a few decades they'll probably be more habitable than Earth.
According to Google, the artist responsible for today's little delight is San Francsico artist Nate Swinehart. You can see more of his work on his website. and can take a look at his web comic, LeveL, here.