posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 10:47 PM
reply to post by cnm1976
Interesting and informative post cnm1976
here is some more info on this topic from ESO
The perturbations induced by the planets are really tiny - the mass of the smallest planets is one hundred thousand times smaller than that of the
star - and only the high sensitivity of HARPS made it possible to detect them," says co-author François Bouchy, from the Institut d'Astrophysique
de Paris, France.
Indeed, each planet induces a motion of the star of only a few metres per second.
At the same conference, the team of astronomers announced the discovery of two other planetary systems, also with the HARPS spectrograph. In one, a
super-Earth (7.5 Earth masses) orbits the star HD 181433 in 9.5 days. This star also hosts a Jupiter-like planet with a period close to 3 years. The
second system contains a 22 Earth-mass planet having a period of 4 days and a Saturn-like planet with a 3-year period as well.
"Clearly these planets are only the tip of the iceberg," says Mayor. "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."
A planet in a tight, short-period orbit is indeed easier to find than one in a wide, long-period orbit.
"It is most probable that there are many other planets present: not only super-Earth and Neptune-like planets with longer periods, but also
Earth-like planets that we cannot detect yet. Add to it the Jupiter-like planets already known, and you may well arrive at the conclusion that planets
are ubiquitous," concludes Udry.
These astronmical discovories are giving us much more insight of what is going on in our universe, all we have to do observe with great care and