Tuesday, 22 August, 2017

Scientists discover new planets, including 'super Earth' that could support life

University of Warwick University of Warwick
Garry Little | 17 February, 2017, 00:30

An global team of astronomers led by University of Hertfordshire have found 60 new planets, orbiting stars that are close to Earth's solar system. The team has discovered a total of 114 new planets wherein there are 60 new planets and 54 potential planets out the solar systems.

A huge, rocky planet known as Gliese 411b is the fourth planet from its host star, likely putting it in its "habitable zone" the region near a star where it is neither too hot nor too cold to support life. "This means that virtually every star has a planet, or several of them, orbiting it", he explained, via email.

But astronomers did not believe it 5 years ago, but now they believe it. USA Today reported that with the help of Hawaii's Keck-I telescope, Butler stated that their discovery was a crowning glory as an astronomer as the newly discovered planets further understands and enhances the processes in planetary formations and for the effortless imaging planets in the future.

The discoveries are based on observations taken over 20 years by US astronomers using the Keck-I telescope in Hawaii as part of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey. Researchers who took part in the survey released the data to the public earlier this week, allowing citizen scientists to begin searching for exoplanets from their couches. During the course of the research, scientists obtained nearly 61,000 observations of 1,600 stars, which are now available to the public. You can find the full database here.

The observations were part of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey, which was started in 1996 by astronomers Steve Vogt and Geoffrey Marcy from the University of California, and Paul Butler from the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington.

By way of comparison, the recently-discovered Earth-like planet Proxima b, which orbits the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, is about 4 light years from Earth. It represents a good chunk of my life's work'. "Over the recent years it has been established as a scientific fact that there are more planets in the Universe than there are stars".

The US astronomers used 20 years data to discover new planets and worlds.

The radial velocity method is one of the most successful techniques for finding and confirming planets. The tiny variations then reveal the existence of an orbiting planet.

Artist's conceptions of the probable planet orbiting a star called GJ 411.

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