TORONTO – How far we’ve come. Thirty years ago, astronomers theorized that planets could orbit other stars in our galaxy. Today, we know of more than 1,800 exoplanets with more than another 5,000 to be confirmed.
Now, two telescopes — using very different methods — have discovered two more unique and intriguing worlds orbiting far off stars.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope together with the W.M. Keck Telescope in Hawaii, has uncovered a planet roughly the size of Uranus. It used a method called gravitational microlensing, where the a star in the foreground amplifies the light of a background star. If the star in the foreground has planets, the planets may also amplify the light of the background star, however, for a much shorter period.
This discovery is particularly special as most giant planets so far catalogued orbit close to their stars, whereas this Uranus-sized planet…
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