In a major scientific discovery, a team of astronomers have identified 60 new planets in our ‘immediate solar neighbourhood’. There is evidence that there could be another 54 on top of that. That is potentially 114 new planets!
Scientists are particularly interested in the planet named Gliese 411b which has a rocky surface and is located in the fourth nearest star system to the sun.
This planet is a hot “super-Earth” and although it cannot support life, the significance of its discovery means that virtually all the nearest stars to the Sun have planets orbiting them. Planets that could be similar to earth.
The results are based on observations taken over a 20 year period by US astronomers using the Keck-I telescope in Hawaii as part of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey.