Published on Feb 17, 2017
An international team of astronomers has found 60 new planets orbiting stars close to Earth’s solar system, including a rocky “super Earth.”
The experts also found evidence of an additional 54 planets, bringing the potential discovery of new worlds to 114.
One planet in particular, Gliese 411b, has been generating plenty of attention. Described as a “super Earth with a rocky surface,” Gliese 411b is located in the fourth-nearest star system to the Sun, making it the third-nearest planetary system to the Sun, according to the U.K.’s University of Hertfordshire, which participated in the research. Gliese 411b (also known as GJ 411b or Lalande 21185) orbits the star Gliese 411 (or GJ 411).
The international team of scientists revealed that all of the nearby stars that they analysed had at least one planet orbiting them.
If, scientists add, that applies to every star in the universe, there could be trillions of planets making it virtually impossible for there to not be life outside of Earth.
“We were very conservative in this paper about what counts as an exoplanet candidate and what does not, and even with our stringent criteria, we found over 100 new likely planet candidates,” scientists say.
The paper is published in The Astronomical Journal.
Clips, images credit: ESO, ESA/HUBBLE & NASA
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