32 New Planets Found By ESO's HARPS Spectrograph
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory have discovered 32 new planets outside of our solar system using the HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher) spectrograph.
HARPS has now found 75 planets, otherwise known as "exoplanets," outside of our solar system. There are now 400 known planets outside of our solar system.
Today, at an international ESO/CAUP exoplanet conference in Porto, the team who built the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, the spectrograph for ESO's 3.6-metre telescope, reports on the incredible discovery of some 32 new exoplanets, cementing HARPS's position as the world’s foremost exoplanet hunter. This result also increases the number of known low-mass planets by an impressive 30%. Over the past five years HARPS has spotted more than 75 of the roughly 400 or so exoplanets now known.
These new planets have varying sizes with one of them up to five times the size of Jupiter, and two of them being five times the size of Earth. None of the new planets are in the habitable zone of a star.
Astronomers believe that the discovery of these new planets suggests that planets are a common feature in the universe.
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