by Staff Writers
Paris (UPI) Nov 18, 2011
Just two decades after the search for planets outside our solar system began, scientists have found more than 700, a French astronomer says.
Astrobiologist Jean Schneider of the Paris-Meudon Observatory, who maintains the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia database, said the tally now stands at 702, SPACE.com reported Friday.
The count has been growing quickly lately and will increase by hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of new alien planets in the near future, astronomers said.
The first alien worlds, two planets orbiting a rotating neutron star, or pulsar, about 1,000 light-years from Earth, were detected in 1992.
One instrument in particular has bagged the lion's share of known exoplanets. Since its launch in 2009, NASA's Kepler space telescope has identified 1,235 possible planets.
And astronomers say a goodly number of them appear to orbit in their stars' habitable zone, where liquid water -- and perhaps life as we know it -- could exist.
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Giant planet ejected from the solar system
Boulder CO (SPX) Nov 14, 2011
Just as an expert chess player sacrifices a piece to protect the queen, the solar system may have given up a giant planet and spared the Earth, according to an article recently published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. "We have all sorts of clues about the early evolution of the solar system," says author Dr. David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute. "They come from t ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|