Estimates say there are more Planets than Stars in Milkyway


With over 700 confirmed extrasolar planets and thousands more extrasolar planets. Based on these extrasolar planets astronomers now estimate that there are more planets than stars in the Milkyway. That is not unreasonable since most know planetary systems have more planets than stars. However the fact that planets have been found around stars that astronomers did not expect to find them, thus increasing the number of stars where planets are likely to be found.

The planetary system surprises includes stars have been found around binaries, a miniature planetary system around a red dwarf and a planet has even been found orbiting a neutron star. Finding a planet around a neutron star was probably the biggest shock since the supernovae that usually form neutron stars would wipe out any orbiting planets. The surprise discovery that is most common are planets being extremely close to the stars, including one gas giant that is so close to its star that it is literally evaporating away. Even planetary order does hold up as shown by Kepler20. The sun has eight major planets with four inner rocky planets and four outer gas giants. Kepler20 on the other hand goes gas giant, rocky, gas giant, rocky, gas giant, and all of the planets are closer to their star than Mercury is to our sun. All these surprises only serve to show how poor planet formation theory is at predicting planetary systena.

 


 

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