3d render of unreal Trappist-1 extrasolar planet system (Credit: iStock)
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Scientists have discovered that nearly 100 new ‘exo-planets’ in the search for Earth-like planets could life.
It is a major breakthrough that reveals new planets that range in size from smaller than Earth to the celestial bodies are even bigger than Jupiter.
The findings were made by a team of international colleagues from the University of Denmark, NASA, the University of Tokyo and others.
Researchers studied data from the Q2 Kepler telescope mission, focused on the detection of new extrasolar planets by the universe.
Exoplanets are planets outside of our solar system, the Milky way in an orbit around a star – just like how the Earth revolves around the Sun.
To find it, scientists use a space telescope to follow dips in the light caused by the shadow of an exoplanet crossing in front of the star.
Lead author Andrew Mayo, who works at the National Space Insititute, presented the findings in the Astronomical Journal, and it turned out that he had been working on the project since the first Q2 data release back in 2014.
“We started the analysis of 275 candidates, of which 149 were validated as real planets.
“In turn, 95 of these planets have proven to make new discoveries.”
The original Kepler spacecraft launched in 2009, searching for exoplanets in a little piece of heaven.
But a mechanical failure crippled the telescope in 2013, paving the way for a follow-up to K2 mission which is proving to be much more successful.
This allowed researchers to discover a new field of exoplanets, raising hopes for the prospect of life outside the earth.
The goal is to eventually be the detection of exo-planets that are rocky, habitable, earth-like planets that could support life.
“Exoplanets are a very exciting field of space science. If there are more planets are discovered, astronomers will develop a much better picture of the nature of extrasolar planets, which in turn will allow us to have our own solar system in a galactic context.”
Mayo says they “discovered planets, that of the sub-Earth-adapted to the size of Jupiter and bigger”.
This story originally appeared in The Sun.