Scientists discover 60 new planets - and maybe even more!
Astronomers have discovered 60 new planets orbiting stars near our solar system - and evidence that there could be another 54 on top of that.
A team of scientists have discovered 60 new planets orbiting stars near the Earth's solar system, as well as evidence that there could be as many as 54 more on top of that. This could mean almost 120 new planets! This is a drawing of Gliese 411b, one of the 60 new planets.
University of Hertfordshire/PA
Scientists are particularly excited about Gliese 411b, which has been found near the fourth nearest star system to the Sun. This would make it the third nearest planetary system to our Sun.
It's a significant discovery as it means that almost all of the nearest stars to the Sun have planets orbiting them - planets which could be like Earth.
Dr Mikko Tuomi from the University of Hertfordshire, who worked on the study, said: "It is fascinating to think that when we look at the nearest stars, all of them appear to have planets orbiting them. This is something astronomers were not convinced about [before]."
Science Photo Library
Towards the end of August 2016, it was announced that a planet had been discovered around Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Sun. The planet was named Proxima b.
Dr Tuomi said about this planet: "According to the findings, the planet has a rocky surface and is only a fraction more massive than the Earth."