Astronomers have found 60 new planets near our [1 DOWN] – and many of them could hold [5 DOWN].
A [12 DOWN] of international scientists found a [17 ACROSS] 54 potential planets, meaning that in all the researchers might have discovered a full 114 planets.
And at least some of [2 DOWN] might be like [18 ACROSS], and able to support life, the [15 ACROSS] have said.
One of the exoplanets was a hot “super-Earth” that has a rocky [11 DOWN] and is found in the fourth nearest star [13 DOWN] to our own. That planet, known as Gliese 411-b, could suggest that all the stars near our own [13 ACROSS] have planets orbiting them – and as such that those [2 ACROSS] might be like Earth and have the conditions for supporting [6 ACROSS] life.
The results are [8 ACROSS] on almost 61,000 individual observations of 1,600 stars taken over a 20-year period by US astronomers using the Keck-I telescope in Hawaii.
The observations were [19 ACROSS] of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey, which was [11 ACROSS] in 1996 by astronomers Steve Vogt and Geoffrey Marcy from the University of California and Paul Butler, from the Carnegie Institute of Science, in Washington.
Dr Tuomi, who was the [1 ACROSS] European-based researcher working on the [10 ACROSS] and led analysis of the data, said: “It is fascinating to think that when we look at the nearest [9 DOWN], all of them appear to have planets [3 DOWN] them.
“This is something astronomers were not convinced about, even as little as five years [16 ACROSS].
“These new planets also help us [14 DOWN] understand the formation processes of planetary systems and provide interesting targets for future efforts to image the planets directly.”
Dr Butler said: “This paper and [4 DOWN] release is one of my crowning achievements as an astronomer. It represents a good chunk of my life’s [7 DOWN].”
The group’s paper has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
Source : The Independent