ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Three "Super-Earths" Planets Discovered

Updated on March 17, 2011

Earth-like Planets May be Very Common

 

After five years of monitoring, astronomers in Europe have discovered a batch of three "super-Earths" orbiting a nearby star, and two other solar systems with small planets as well. Their findings, presented at a conference in France, suggest that Earth-like planets may be very common. It's as if every single star harbor planets but the conclusive answer is not yet known but the astronomers are making huge progress towards it. The three super-Earths planets orbit a star slightly less massive than our Sun and this star is 42 light-years away towards the southern Doradus and Pictor constellations. One light-year is the distance light can travel in one year at a speed of 186,000 miles a second which is equivalent to 9.5 trillion kilometers. The three super-Earths planets are each bigger than the Earth. One is 4.2 times the mass of earth, the other is 6.7 times the mass of earth and the third planet is 9.4 times the mass of earth. They orbit their star at extremely rapid speeds. One of the planets is orbiting in just four days, compared with Earth's 365 days, the other planet is orbiting in just 10 days and the third is the slowest orbiting in 20 days.

European Southern Observatory

The HARPS spectrograph has led to the discoveries of many other extra-solar planets, including a 5 earth mass planet around a red dwarf.

La Silla Observatory hosts eighteen telescopes. Three are still operated by European Southern Observatory for use by the astronomical community. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere.

ESO is an intergovernmental research organization for astronomy, composed and supported by thirteen countries from Europe namely Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Austria.

The Organization was created in 1962, to provide state-of-the-art facilities and access to the Southern Sky to European astronomers. It is famous for building and operating some of the largest and most technologically advanced telescopes in the world.

Three "Super-Earths" Planets

High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher

To find the planets, the astronomers used the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), a telescope at La Silla observatory in Chile. So far, more than 270 exoplanets have been found - most are giants, resembling Jupiter or Saturn. The smaller planets closer to the size of Earth are far more difficult to spot. None of these planets can be imaged directly at such far distances but can be spotted indirectly using radio waves and spectrographic measurements. When a planet orbiting the star wobbles very slightly and this can be measured. Now that the astronomers have more precise instruments such as the HARPS spectrograph, they can now be able to discover smaller planets, with masses between 2 and 10 times the Earth's mass. Another planet 7.5 times the mass of Earth orbiting the star HD 181433 in 9.5 days was also found. This star also has a Jupiter-like planet that orbits every three years. Another solar system has a planet 22 times the mass of Earth, orbiting every four days, and a Saturn-like planet with a 3-year period.

The discovery of these planets is only the tip of the iceberg. The analysis of all the stars studied with HARPS shows that about one third of all solar-like stars have either super-Earth or Neptune-like planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days.

The Author’s page is designed to help beginners and average readers make some money as an extra income to supplement what they may be earning elsewhere - details of which you can find in My Page, if you will.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 

      7 years ago from Houston, TX.

      This sounds like the episode of The Twilight Zone where the aliens from another planet who looked like Earthlings were going to another planet called Earth.

    • ngureco profile imageAUTHOR

      ngureco 

      10 years ago

      Thank you all for your comments. You can be sure there will be more discoveries of these Earth-like Planets in future.

    • dutch84 profile image

      dutch84 

      10 years ago

      what's so "super" about these planets when they can't even support life.

      BOOOOOOO!!!!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      10 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      This is incredible! I had no idea. I am going to send your Hub link to my husband who is an amateur astonomer. Thanks so much for this fascinating Hub.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Fascinating information...always hypothetically knew there were other earths, solar systems around those stars out there, since they're just like our sun...but nice to read up on this with such succinct info.! Good hubbing!

    • profile image

      oberbreckling 

      10 years ago

      Hi ngureco this is all very interesting you know like you said about the other planets orbiting the sun in just days I wonder if the planet also ages faster too well alot of questions good hub ~cool~ cya

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)