New Exoplanets Discovered

The newly discovered system Gliese 667 (Artist’s impression).  Image credit:  ESO

The newly discovered system Gliese 667 (Artist’s impression). Image credit: ESO

Astronomers using the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph, which is attached to the 11.8 foot telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s facility in Chile, have discovered 32 new planets orbiting stars outside our solar system.  These planets range in size from about 5 times the size of Earth to about 5 times the size of Jupiter.  The team of astronomers also announced that they believe about 40% of all stars like our Sun are orbited by planets.  More planets have also been discovered and their discovery will be formally announced later in the year.  For more information, see ScienceNews.

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