A group of international astronomers have just discovered 60 new planets.
The discovery that has been made in our solar system is not far from our own, the astronomers have also found evidence of an additional 54 planets, bringing the potential discovery of new earth-like worlds to 114 in total.
The researchers believe that most of these planets might be like Earth, and are able to support life. There is one planet in particular, Gliese 411-b, that has been getting plenty of attention. This planet is a hot ‘Super-Earth’ that has a rocky surface and is found in the fourth nearest star system to our own, making it practically a neighbour.
Despite its ‘Earth’ status, Dr. Mikko Tuomi from University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Astrophysics in an interview told Fox News that Gliese 411-b is too hot for life to exist on its surface.
The scientists say this planet is significant because it suggests that ‘virtually all the nearest stars to the Sun have planets orbiting them, and these planets could be like Earth and support life.’
The scientific data is based on over 61,000 separate observations of 1,600 starts which were taken over a 20 year period using the Keck-I telescope in Hawaii, and according to the University of Hertfordshire’s report.
“In essence, we are now building an observational roadmap for future giant telescopes that can be used to image some or even most of these newly found worlds. This is like mapping an archipelago so that we are familiar with it in the future when taking a closer look at what its islands actually look like.”
The hot ‘Super-Earth’ Gliese 411-b may not be able to support life, but it does give strong indications that others around it could.
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