At a distance of 420 light-years from Earth, astronomers have discovered a cluster of about 170 Jupiter-sized planets. This is the largest group of its kind ever discovered.
According to astronomers at Bodo’s Laboratory de Astrophysics, these planets are hidden in a dark universe that has no stars to illuminate, and it is usually impossible to photograph these planets.
Even a few million years after their formation, these planets are so hot that they are shining which makes it possible to see them.
Experts used a number of observatories for their spectacular discovery, including the European Southern Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.
Nova Mite-Roig, author of the study, said she did not know how many planets were expected and was excited to discover so many.
To find so many planets at once, the team examined data from the Earth and Space Telescope over a period of 20 years.
“We measured the slightest movement, color, and brightness of tens of millions of sources across much of the sky,” Mite-Roig said.
He added that the measurements identified blurred objects in the region that were planets.
Most of the data came from ESO controlled observatories, including the Very Large Telescope (VLT).
Others include the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) and the MPG / ESO 2.2-meter telescope.
Harvey Boye, an astronomer at Bodo’s laboratory and project leader for the research, said the team used thousands of wide-ranging images from ESO observatories that contained hundreds of hours and tens of terabytes of data.