South African Telescope Plays Role in the Discovery of Seven New Planets

South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) telescope data was used to discover seven Earth sized planet orbiting a star 40 light years away, according to a report by the Times Live

All seven planets discovered in the system could potentially have liquid water on their surfaces, though their orbital distances make some of them more likely candidates than others. Three of the planets are believed to have liquid water on their surfaces since they are in the star’s -with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun- ‘habitable zone’.


The researchers‚ lead by Michaël Gillon of the University of Liège in Belgium‚ report that the three planets are likely to be rocky planets‚ as are the Earth and Mars‚ Venus and Mercury.

SAAO’s 1m telescope was used to take observations of the planetary system over several nights in June and July last year‚ said Amanda Sickafoose‚ head of instrumentation at SAAO.

The astronomers used other telescopes used include Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes in Chile‚ Morocco‚ Hawaii and the Canary Islands.


Written by PH

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