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Astronomers discover 11 new planets

Astronomers have unveiled a plethora of planets, with more Earth-like ones likely on the way. In separate studies, teams report up to 11 planets orbiting the stars 61 Virginis (with three confirmed), HD 1461 (one confirmed and two more likely) and 23 Lib (four confirmed) and HD 134987 (one more likely.)
International teams using the Anglo-Australian Telescope in Australia and the Keck Telescope in Hawaii made the discoveries, some slated for the Astrophysical Journal.

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Exoplanets
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HD 1461
Position (2000): RA 00 18 41.8677, Dec -08 03 10.805

61 Virginis
Position (2000): RA 13 18 24.3146, Dec -18 18 40.306

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HD 1461b
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According to Vogt, the planetary system around 61 Vir is an excellent candidate for study by the new Automated Planet Finder (APF) Telescope recently constructed at Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose.

"Needless to say, we're very excited to continue monitoring this system using APF" - Steven Vogt of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who is the principal investigator for the APF and is building a spectrometer for the new telescope that is optimised for finding planets.

The second new system found by the team features a 7.5-Earth-mass planet orbiting HD 1461, another near-perfect twin of the Sun located 76 light-years away. At least one and possibly two additional planets also orbit the star. Lying in the constellation Cetus, HD 1461 can be seen with the naked eye in the early evening under good dark-sky conditions.
The 7.5-Earth-mass planet, assigned the name HD 1461b, has a mass nearly midway between the masses of Earth and Uranus. The researchers said they cannot tell yet if HD 1461b is a scaled-up version of Earth, composed largely of rock and iron, or whether, like Uranus and Neptune, it is composed mostly of water.

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Four newfound planets orbiting two nearby stars add weight to the promise of detecting habitable worlds within the next few years, researchers said today.
Two of the extrasolar planets are considered super-Earths, more massive than Earth but less massive than Uranus and Neptune. Spotting true Earth-sized planets is challenging with current technology, but the presence of super-Earths suggests finding a world like ours is just a matter of time, researchers say.

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An international team of astronomers using telescopes in Australia and Hawaii have discovered four planets orbiting two stars the scientists say are similar to the Sun.
The planets were found by Australian, American and British astronomers using the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales and the Keck Telescope in Hawaii.

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Three new planet lights in the sky

Three new planets have been found orbiting a nearby star that is almost identical to the sun. Dr Marek Kukula of the Royal Greenwich Observatory spoke to Channel 4 News.
The planets were discovered by British, Australian and American astronomers.

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-- Edited by Blobrana on Monday 14th of December 2009 04:55:37 AM

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An international team of scientists have discovered four new planets that orbit two stars that are very similar to the Sun. These findings point to the detection of possible habitable worlds in the coming years.
The Researchers who published their work in the 'Astrophysical Journal', used the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales and the Keck telescope in Hawaii.
The astronomers discovered three planets with masses ranging from the 5.3 to the 24.9 masses of Earth orbiting the star 61 Virginis, which is virtually a twin of the Sun. Scientists used the Doppler shift technique, which measures how the stars wobble by the gravity of its planets.

"These planets are particularly exciting. These point to even smaller planets that might be appropriate and rocky for life"  - Chris Tinney, Member of the scientific team.

In our solar system Neptune has a mass of 17 times that of Earth. It seems there may be many similar to the Sun stars with planets that mass or less. 61 Virginis star, which you can see with the naked eye, is 28 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo.  The fourth planet is the mass of Jupiter and orbits the star 23 Librae, which is similar to the Sun. 23 Librae is 84 years light in the constellation of Libra.

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61 Virginis Exoplanets
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Three new planets have been found orbiting a nearby star that is almost identical to the Sun.

The planets, forming a mini-solar system, circle the star 61 Virginis which is just 27.8 light years away and can be seen with the naked eye.
They have masses ranging from 5.3 to 24.9 times that of the Earth.
The same international team also found a fourth planet orbiting another Sun-like star 84 light years away called 23 Librae.

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Astronomers have discovered three new planets orbiting a sun-like star.
The exoplanets range between 5 - 25 earth masses.

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Bump.

Ed ~  Have they discovered an exomoon?

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