Alien planet number 700 has been discovered by astronomers. The discovery comes less than 20 years since the first world beyond our own solar system was discovered.
The total number of exoplanets is at 702, according to Extrasolar Planets. Extrasolar Planets is a database that was put together by Jean Schneider, an astrobiologist.
There are two main lists that tracks alien planets, and one of them is Schneider’s list. The other list is called PlanetQuest New World Atlas, which is run by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. According to PlanetQuest the current number of exoplanets stands at 687.
The difference between the two lists shows that there are uncertainties when discovering exoplanets. However, both lists have been growing recently and sources say that both lists will add hundreds of new alien planets in the future.
Alien Planets Being Hunted Down
The first alien world was discovered back in 1992, and that world was found 1,000 light-years from earth. It wasn’t until 1995 when confirmation, of a planet that was circling around a pulsar that was not our own sun, was made.
However, findings have been becoming more common as the count reached 500 in 2010, and then passed 600 just a few months ago. 50 newfound planets were discovered by scientists’ who worked with the European Southern Observatory.
Scientists are getting better at hunting down alien planets and this is the reason why more and more planets are going to be discovered faster than ever before.
One instrument alone could help double the number of exoplanets. The NASA’s Kepler space telescope already found and identified 1,235 planet candidates since launching back in 2009. Kelper scientists believe that around 80 percent of the candidates will be real.
Diversity of Alien Worlds
Tallying up the numbers may be exciting but that is not what searching for planets are all about. Instead, it is a way to understand alien worlds’ diversity and nature. This goes for alien worlds in our own galaxy and other galaxies.
The diversity seems to be very large. For example, one planet was as airy as Styrofoam, while another planet was as dense as iron. Another planet orbited two suns.
There are also planets that have been discovered that actually orbit there own stars’ habitable zone. This is where life could actually exist.
Greg Laughlin, an astronomer, says that there is no indication that surprises are slowing down.