42 Alien Planets Found: Including 15 Habitable Zones (VIDEO)

Juno Mission to Jupiter (2010 Artist's Concept)
Launching from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. (Caption: NASA) |

42 alien planets have been found by a team of amateurs, according to a new report out by

Among the three-and-a-half dozen planets found is a Jupiter-sized planet that reportedly could be habitable, according to the report. The group of amateurs apparently found evidence for the 42 planets by sifting through data from a NASA spacecraft.

The find has been made by a group of 40 volunteers, who claim that there is evidence among the 42 planets that as many as 15 are potentially habitable worlds. In addition, they also highlight PH2 b, which is a Jupiter-size planet in the so-called "habitable zone" of its parent star, like Earth to our Sun.

The group has conducted its research as part of the Planet Hunters project. The information has been passed on to professional astronomers, who could confirm the finds and confirm whether the planets are in the habitable zones of their stars.

The habitable zone basically means that the planet is the sufficient distance from its star for liquid to exist on the planet's surface. With water available, scientists believe that these planets could have the potential to support life on them.

The University of Oxford's Chris Lintott, has said in a statement: "These are planet candidates that slipped through the net, being missed by professional astronomers and rescued by volunteers in front of their web browsers. It's remarkable to think that absolutely anyone can discover a planet."

One of the planets, called PH2 b, was found using data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. Scientists believe that the sheer size of the planet means it would be unable to support life, however, numerous moons have been seen orbiting the planet, and some of these could be of the requisite size to support life, some astronomers have commented.

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