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Scientists announce planet bounty

Astronomers have announced a haul of planets found beyond our Solar System.

The 32 "exoplanets" ranged in size from five times the mass of Earth to 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter, the researchers said.

They were found using a very sensitive instrument on a 3.6m telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla facility in Chile.

The discovery is exciting because it suggests that low-mass planets could be numerous in our galaxy.

"From [our] results, we know now that at least 40% of solar-type stars have low-mass planets. This is really important because it means that low-mass planets are everywhere, basically," explained Stephane Udry from Geneva University, Switzerland.

"What's very interesting is that models are predicting them, and we are finding them; and furthermore the models are predicting even more lower-mass planets like the Earth."

Size selection

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Added: Oct-19-2009 Occurred On: Oct-19-2009
By: mik1867
In:
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Tags: Planet Bounty, Bounty, Scientists, Science, Size, mass, La Silla facility, Observatory, Chile, beyond, Solar system
Views: 10795 | Comments: 14 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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