Home > Astronomy, Uncategorized > Planets can form around different types of stars

Planets can form around different types of stars

It had previously been thought that planets were more likely to form around a star if the star had a high content of heavier elements. But new research from the University of Copenhagen, among others, shows that small planets can form around very different types of stars — also stars that are relatively poor in heavy elements. This significantly increases the likelihood that Earth-like planets are widespread in the universe. The results have been published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature.
3,000 exoplanets, i.e., planets orbiting a star other than the Sun, have now been discovered. 2,300 of these potential planets are being observed with the Kepler satellite by measuring the brightness of the host stars. If a planet moves in front of its star, there is a small decrease in the brightness and if this happens repeatedly, it could be a planet orbiting the star and dimming its light.
A multitude of planets have been discovered so far and by measuring their size it is possible to distinguish between gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter, or whether they are smaller, terrestrial planets like Earth and Mars.

Full Story: http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/news

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