18 New Alien Planets Discovered by Team of Researchers

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By Elton Jones , Christian Post Reporter
December 6, 2011|1:37 pm

A new study reported the discovery of 18 new alien planets that are comparable to the size of Jupiter.

The researchers who took part in the study surveyed approximately 300 stars using the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and instruments in Texas and Arizona. The focus of this study was on the labeled "retired" type A stars.

These stars are said to be at least 1.5 times more massive than our own sun. They are referred to as "retired" due to them going beyond their main stages of living.

The team continued to probe these stars, looking for slight wobbles caused by the gravitational tug of orbiting planets. The scientists' results revealed 18 new alien worlds, all of them with masses similar to Jupiter. The 18 alien planets orbit at a relative far distance from their stars, at a distance of at least 0.7 times the span from Earth to the sun.

The discovery of these new alien planets now joins a previous team of researchers' planet findings.

FoxNews.com explained the story: "The haul comes just a few months after a different team of researchers announced the discovery of 50 newfound alien worlds, including one rocky planet that could be a good candidate for life. The list of known alien planets is now well over 700 and climbing fast."

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The number of known planets orbiting massive stars rose to 50 percent. Researches said this planet bounty should aid astronomers in understanding how giant planets form and grow in alien solar systems.

These findings may become more frequent. Researchers said the discovery of the new 18 alien planets is said to be providing more evidence for the "core accretion" theory.

John Johnson, lead author of the alien planet study, gave the following statement in the released study: "It's nice to see all these converging lines of evidence pointing toward one class of formation mechanisms."

Johnson and several of his research colleagues reported their results in the December issue of the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

 

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