Astronomers from the University of Hertfordshire in England said they were astonished when found 60 new planets orbiting stars near the Earth’s own solar system, while another 54 planets were also found nearby, bringing the total number of potential planets to 114, which they believe have the potential to support life system or could be hosting aliens already.
Dr Mikko Tuomi and his team of astronomers made the discovery of planets including one hot “super-Earth” with a rocky surface that is the fourth nearest star system to the sun. The extrasolar planet Gliese 411b and all the nearest stars to the sun have planets orbiting them and some of them have Earth-like potential, they said.
Astronomers came to the conclusion after 61,000 observations of 1,600 stars over 20 years after studying the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey since 1996 by astronomers Steve Vogt and Geoffrey Marcy from the University of California and Paul Butler, from the Carnegie Institute of Science, in Washington.
“It is fascinating when we look at the nearest stars, all of them appear to have planets orbiting them. This is something astronomers were not convinced about, even as little as five years ago," said Dr. Tuomi, lead author of a paper. The findings will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.