The scientists who made the discovery used the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the European Southern Observatory's location in La Silla, Chile.
HARPS is also known in the ESO as "The Planet Hunter."
"Among these are many rocky planets not much heavier than the Earth," the ESO said on its Web site, referring to the 16 so-called "Super Earths." "One of them in particular seems to orbit in the habitable zone around its star."
Scientists anticipate the number will become higher after planet-candidates are confirmed to be planets. There are more than 1,200 candidates that were discovered by NASA's Kepler space observatory in California, SPACE.com reported.
"The next big milestone should be 1,000," chief scientist of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California Wesley Traub told SPACE.com. "We are learning that there are so many planets out there, and many stars have multiple planets around then, that it's just a question of time until we get to that 1,000 mark of confirmed planets."