Monday, October 19, 2009
32 new extrasolar planets.
(space.com article here too)
Wow. Most of them are Jupiter-sized as always, but one of them is only five times the mass of Earth which isn't a bad catch. With these 32 we now know of more than 400 planets outside our solar system. It also means that we've discovered more planets in 2009 than in 2008. It's incredible how commonplace the discovery of planets is becoming. Within perhaps two or three years we will reach a point where a new planet is being discovered every single day...and there is virtually no end to the places where they can be discovered, plus the fact that the more refined our observational skills become the smaller objects we will be able to discover. After Earth-like planets come Mars-sized ones, then Mercury, Ceres, asteroids, etc. etc.
Edit: an article here from the BBC says that the same team is expecting to confirm another batch of planets in the coming months too.