Paris (UPI) Nov 22, 2010
Astronomers have discovered the 500th exoplanet outside our solar system, a database maintained by a French astronomer says.
Astrobiologist Jean Schneider of the Paris-Meudon Observatory, who compiles the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia, says less than 20 years after the discovery of the first exoplanet he has logged No. 500, discovered Nov. 19, SPACE.com reported.
The 500th extrasolar planet was reported in the midst of the announcement of the discovery of several others, including a planet tagged HIP 13044b astronomers say was born in another galaxy before being captured by our own Milky Way galaxy.
Less than two months ago astronomers announced a watershed moment, the discovery of the first potentially habitable exoplanet.
Meanwhile, data is pouring in from planet-hunting instruments like NASA's Kepler space observatory.
Kepler has already identified more than 700 "candidate" stars worthy of further observation and confirmation, and a high percentage of those will probably be found to have planets, says Jon Jenkins of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute.
Jenkins is the lead analyst for the Kepler mission.
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Planet From Another Galaxy Discovered
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 19, 2010
An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy has been detected by a European team of astronomers using the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The Jupiter-like planet is particularly unusual, as it is orbiting a star nearing the end of its life and could be about to be engulfed by it, giving tantalising clues about the fate of our ow ... read more
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