Space is an unending vastness of mysteries. Yet, our scientists with curiosity and excitement in their eyes never stopped looking up to find the answers.
And on the way, they have managed to have a glimpse of planets beyond our solar system with powerful eyes in space and on the ground.
Researchers with the recent report of 60 exoplanets have confirmed they have reached 5000 exoplanet count.
This new data on exoplanet was salvaged from NASA’s now-defunct K2 mission (Kepler telescope – the exoplanet hunter) and was published at arxiv.org.
As of today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has officially confirmed the identification of 5005 exoplanets.
30 years have passed since the scientists 1st discovered planets revolving around another star (Two small worlds around a pulsar star). Now it has become a common exciting quest for astronomers to search for new exoplanets around new stars.
“Today, exoplanets are so common that astronomers expect most stars host at least one,” said astronomer Aurora Kesseli of Caltech in a report.
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“One of the most exciting things I think has happened in the last 30 years is that we’ve really started to be able to fill out the diversity of exoplanets,” she added.
These planets vary in size. Some look like Neptune, some like Jupiter, some perhaps like our own planet-earth, and some completely alien to our understanding.
Of 5005 planets, 1500 are huge gas planets, close to 200 are small and rocky, and nearly 1,600 ‘super-earths’ (planets that are larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune) with the present data.
However, scientists cannot go beyond calculating the masses, diameters, and densities of the planets.
But with evolving space technology like the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s new exoplanet hunter, the TESS mission, astronomers are excited to discover thousands and thousands more planets.
Technologically evolved eyes(powerful telescopes) from the ground all around the world are adding to the growing count.
“There’s tons of exoplanets out there and even more waiting to be discovered,” Kesseli added.