Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Yesterday six new planets were added to those we've discovered so far, bringing the total so far now to 461. The new planets admittedly aren't all that exciting (some super-Jupiters, and one somewhat smaller than Saturn) but every new discovery is welcome.
The graph on Wikipedia showing the number of planets discovered per year hasn't been updated since March so it still looks like this:
but if you take a look at the complete list of exoplanets here you can see that the total number of discoveries announced so far this year is 47, so at this rate there's no reason to doubt that the number discovered this year should easily top 100.
There's actually some interesting news on top of this too, and that can be read here - right now in the US it's early morning of June the 15th, and the Kepler telescope team will be making the data from its first 43 days of observation public, at this site. Not only is Kepler working on confirming hundreds of possible exoplanet discoveries, it has also found over 2,000 binary stars. So in a few hours this data (along with a number of papers qualifying it to make it easier to understand) should become available and then we'll see what happens when a few hundred thousand more people (rough estimate of the number of those that will be interested) lay their eyes on it.