New York: A Super-Earth is a planet with a mass between 1 and 10 times that of Earth.
The Super-Earth classification refers only to the mass of the planet, and does not imply anything about its surface conditions or habitability.
Newly discovered alien planets that could potentially support life outside Earth are also referred to as Super-Earth.
More than 50 new alien planets including several so-called Super-Earths have been discovered by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
The new found haul of alien planets includes 16 Super-Earths, which are potentially rocky worlds that are more massive than our planet.
One in particular has captured astronomers' attention because it orbits at the edge of its star's habitable zone, suggesting conditions could be ripe to support life .
The first Super-Earths - two exoplanets with masses 4 times that of Earth - were found orbiting a pulsar called PSR B1257+12 in 1992.
The first Super-Earth around a main sequence star one that is in order with our sun was discovered in 2005.
With an estimated mass of 7.5 Earth masses, it orbits Gliese 876 and received the designation Gliese 876 d.
Dozens more Super-Earths have since been discovered, with masses as low as 1.9 Earth masses.
Astronomers have speculated that Super-Earths might be more geologically active than our planet, and may experience more vigorous plate tectonics due to thinner plates that are under more stress.
Super-Earths excite those engaged in search for alien life because of the possibility that they are rocky and, possibly, habitable, unlike the gas giants.