London: An astronomer has found evidence that
points to a planetary system larger than our own solar system,
around the star named HD 10180.
Originally reported in 2010 to be orbited by seven planets,
re-analysed data from the HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity
Planet Searcher) now indicates that the star has nine planets.
Mikko Tuomi, from the University of Hertfordshire, carried out his
analysis as part of the European Union research network RoPACS.
Located 130 light years away, the star is not within reach of
foreseeable human space travel, but in astronomical distances, it
is still considered to be in the solar neighbourhood.
This discovery is significant as most planetary systems discovered
so far have far fewer planets, the journal Astronomy and
The study verifies the existence of the previously announced seven
planets and shows that there are likely to be two additional
planets orbiting the star, said a university statement.
The two newly-detected signals are probably those of planets
classified as hot super-Earths with orbital periods around the
star of 10 and 68 days.
These new planets are closer to the star's surface than Earth is
to the Sun which makes them too hot to be able to maintain water
on their surfaces in its liquid form.
They have masses of 1.9 and 5.1 times that of our planet Earth
which suggests that they are solid rocky bodies and make them
among the smallest planets outside of our Solar system to be
detected till date.