Landmark: NASA approves 5,000 extrasolar planets

איך נראים כוכבי לכת מחוץ למערכת השמש שלנו? מגוון של אפשרויות מוצגות באיור הזה. מדענים גילו את כוכבי הלכת הראשונים בשנות התשעים של המאה העשרים. נכון ל-2022, מספר עומד על קצת יותר מ-5,000 כוכבי לכת מאושרים. קרדיט: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Given the billions of planets in the Milky Way alone, “inevitably some kind of life can be found somewhere”.

What do the planets look like outside our solar system? A variety of options are shown in this image. Scientists discovered the first planets in the 1990s. As of 2022, this number is just 5,000 happy planets. Attribution: NASA / JPL-Caltech

The number of approved exoplanets has crossed the 5,000 milestone after a 30 – year discovery mission led by NASA’s space telescopes.

Until recently, we lived in a universe where very few planets were known, all orbiting the sun. But several new discoveries mark a scientific record: there are more than 5,000 confirmed planets beyond our solar system.

The number of planets exceeded 5,000 on March 21, and the last 65 additional planets were added to the NASA Solar System Archive by Extra Solar. Detection or analysis techniques were used.

The 5,000 or more planets discovered so far include Earth-like rocky worlds, gas giants many times larger than Jupiter, and several “hot Jupiter” planets orbiting their planet in hot close orbits. In our solar system there are smaller versions of Neptune called “Neptune species” and “Super Earth” with the largest possible rocks in our world. Add planets orbiting two stars simultaneously and planets orbiting stubborn remnants of dead stars.

To date, astronomers have confirmed more than 5,000 planets. This is only a small fraction of the hundreds of billions that may exist in our galaxy. The angles of discovery of exoplanets are rising from the earth like spokes on a wheel. Many more discoveries await. Attribution: NASA / JPL-Caltech

“It’s not just a number,” said Jesse Christian, scientific director and research scientist at NASA’s Institute of Planetary Sciences outside the Solar System at Caltech in Pasadena. I’m excited about each one because we know nothing about them.

We know: there are hundreds of billions of such planets in our galaxy. Ongoing discoveries began in 1992 through new and strange worlds around a more bizarre star. It was a kind of neutron star called a pulsar, a stellar corpse that spins rapidly and vibrates with powerful radiation explosions of milliseconds. Measuring small time changes in pulses allowed scientists to locate planets orbiting the pulsar.

There were only three planets orbiting this spinning star, and then the flood began, said Alexander Wolshen, lead author of the article that revealed the first planets recognized outside our solar system 30 years ago.

“If planets can be found around a neutron star, the planets must be almost everywhere,” Walsh said. “The process of creating planets must be very intense.”

The more than 5,000 recognized planets in our galaxy include various types, including the mysterious type "Super Country Balls" Because these planets are bigger than our world and probably rocks.  Attribution: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Of the more than 5,000 planets recognized in our galaxy, there are many types, including a mysterious one known as “Super Earth”, because these planets are larger than our world and probably rocky. Attribution: NASA / JPL-Caltech

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