Astronomers Discover and Photograph New Planets Outside Earth’s Solar System

November 14, 2008

(ChattahBox) – Two teams of astronomers have discovered 4 planets outside Earth’s solar system. They have marked a milestone in the search for Earth-like planets by capturing images of planets that are circling around different stars. Three of the planets are visible around one star and the fourth planet circles yet another star. The four stars are trillions of miles away and do not look habitable like Earth. However, scientists are optimistic that if these planets are present it means that there will be other’s to find soon. They hope that soon they would see a blue dot that looks more hospitable.

“It’s only a matter of time before “we get a dot that’s blue and Earthlike,” said astronomer Bruce Macintosh of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. He led one of the two teams of photographers. “It is a step on that road to understand if there are other planets like Earth and potentially life out there,” he said.

These new achievements in the quest for Earth-like planets open the door to new investigations and discoveries to know about the formation of new planets and their constitution. “It’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Christian Marois of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, British Columbia. “Now that we know they are there, there is going to be an explosion.”

Dr. Marois lead the team that discovered three planets orbiting a single star known as HR8799, which is 130 light years away. Paul Kalas of the University of California led the other team that discovered another planet circling another star Formalhaut, which is 25 light years way. Results of both the teams will be published in Thursday’s online edition of the journal of science.


Comments

One Response to “Astronomers Discover and Photograph New Planets Outside Earth’s Solar System”

  1. TAZ on November 18th, 2008 4:30 pm

    the fouth planet is called nibiru which orbit’s our sun will pass betweenn mars and jupiter will be visible next year will pass between 2012-2020

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