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Surprising Science

400 Extra-Solar Planets

Astronomers have discovered 32 new planets outside the solar system, bringing the total to over 400.

“Astronomers have found 32 new planets outside the solar system, suggesting the universe has many places where life could develop. They did not find any planets that were habitable or even unusual. But it brings the number of extra-solar planets they have found to more than 400. Of the newly found planets, six fit into the category of ‘super-Earths’, more massive than our planet but smaller than gas giants such as Saturn. One planet was five times larger than Jupiter, researchers said. ‘I’m pretty confident that there are Earth-like planets everywhere,’ Prof Stephane Udry of Geneva University told The Metro. ‘Nature doesn’t like a vacuum. If there is space to put a planet there, there will be a planet there.'”


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