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Scientists discover more than 100 new potential exo-planets including a rocky "Super Earth"
A research published in the Astronomical Journal has said that scientists have detected more than 100 new potential exo-planets including a rocky "super Earth."

The discovery was made using the recently developed method to detect exo-planets called the radial velocity method which makes use of the planet's gravity affecting the star.

The massive data was gathered as part of a two-decade radial velocity planet-hunting programme using a spectrometer called HIRES. The spectrometer has been mounted on the 10-metre Keck-I telescope and has been placed in the W M Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

"HIRES was not specifically optimised to do this type of exo-planet detective work, but has turned out to be a workhorse instrument of the field," a report in ET quoted Steve Vogt of the University of California Santa Cruz in the US, who built the instrument.

The researchers, after studying the subject for more than 30 years have now published the results and shared them with the exo-planet community in order to strengthen the search for exo-planets.

An astonishing fact is that of these probable planets, a star called GJ 411, also known as Lalande 21185 has been discovered. It is the fourth-closest star to the Sun though about 40 per cent the mass of the Sun. Since historically, smaller stars have been found around smaller planets, the team is now hoping for a discovery of an Earth-like planet as well.

One planet in particular known as Gliese 411b has been described as a "hot super Earth with a rocky surface." Located near GJ411, it is the third-nearest planetary system to the Sun.

"We were very conservative in this paper about what counts as an exo-planet candidate and what does not, and even with our stringent criteria, we found over 100 new likely planet candidates," Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire in the UK said.

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