This time, scientists have come across some lurking Super-Earths located not very far from our own solar system.
It has long been believed that there are only seven planets in our neighboring solar system around star HD 10180, but that is wrong.
Astronomers have just made a very significant discovery revealing the existence of two more planets in the system.
Artistic impression of a Super-Earth. Image credit: David Aguilar
This finding is very important because most planetary systems discovered so far have far fewer planets.
Located 130 light years away, the star is not within reach of foreseeable human space travel, but in astronomical distances, it is still considered to be in the Solar neighborhood.
The two new planets discovered by Mikko Tuomi, an astronomer at the University of Hertfordshire are closer to the star's surface than the Earth is to the Sun.
This makes them too hot to be able to maintain water on their surfaces in its liquid form and life as we know it could not exist there.
The super-Earths have masses of 1.9 and 5.1 times that of our planet Earth which suggests that
they are solid rocky bodies and make them among the smallest planets outside of our Solar system detected to date.
An artist's conception of the planetary system around HD 10180. One of the new Super-Earth planets HD 10180j is seen in the foreground
(on the left hand side of the picture), with the nearby Neptune-like planet HD 10180e in the background (on the right-hand side of picture with blue cloudy atmosphere).
The central star and the other 7 planets can be seen in the distance, including the second new Super-Earth HD 10180i, third out from the central star.
Future observations are required to verify the existence of these planet candidates and to establish the HD 10180 star system as the richest planetary system known to humankind.
Super-Earth Discovered Orbiting Several Suns
The super-Earth, named GJ 667Cc has the mass four and a half times that of our Earth and an orbit of 28.15 days.
The planet GJ 667Cc orbits a dwarf star of the class M, 22 light years away which corresponds to
approximately 209 trillion kilometers.
"These super-earth are good choice for the existence of liquid water and life, as it also occurs on
Earth, "says one of the lead investigator, Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escudé from the University of Goettingen, Germany.
Possible Water In The Atmosphere Of A Super-Earth
This exoplanet has a mass of 6.5 Earth-masses and a radius of 2.7 Earth-radii, and it orbits a small M-dwarf star
(its diameter is only 21% of the Sun's).
They used the Hubble infrared spectrometer to observe the planet as it transited across the face of the star; as it
did so, the planet's atmosphere absorbed light from the star, thus subtly altering the star's intrinsic spectrum as we observe it.
Unusual Sounds From Space Reported Worldwide - What Are They?
For almost a year now people from different countries have reported hearing strange sound from the sky. Now scientists propose that what people are
hearing is only a small fraction of the actual power of these sounds!
What are these sounds? What is causing them? Are they in anyway related to our Sun and the biggest solar flares, do they come from Earth's inner core
or can they be attributed to an unknown an astronomical phenomenon? Are they in anyway dangerous to our planet?
Crowded Habitable Zones:
Tens Of Billions Of Rocky Planets Around Red Dwarfs In The Milky Way
The scientists estimate that there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and probably about one
hundred in the Sun’s immediate neighbourhood. This is the first direct measurement of the frequency of super-Earths around red dwarfs, which account for 80% of the stars in the Milky Way.
This first direct estimate of the number of light planets around red dwarf stars has just been announced by an international
team using observations with the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.