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32 More Planets Found Beyond Our Solar System

October 19, 2009

If only they could talk and tell their stories.

The 32 “exoplanets” ranged in size from five times the mass of Earth to 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter, the researchers said.

They were found using a very sensitive instrument on a 3.6m telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla facility in Chile.

The discovery is exciting because it suggests that low-mass planets could be numerous in our galaxy.

“From [our] results, we know now that at least 40% of solar-type stars have low-mass planets. This is really important because it means that low-mass planets are everywhere, basically,” explained Stephane Udry from Geneva University, Switzerland.

“What’s very interesting is that models are predicting them, and we are finding them; and furthermore the models are predicting even more lower-mass planets like the Earth.”

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