Researchers from the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, in association with those from the California Institute of Technology, have reportedly discovered 18 new Jupiter-like planets, orbiting stars that are larger than the sun, according to a new study.
The study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, surveyed about 300 stars and identified 18 Jovian planets that were dubbed retired A-type stars; these are more than one-and-a-half times larger than the sun. The researchers detected these planets as a part of Doppler survey of sub-giant stars.
These detections represent a 50 per cent increase in the number of planets known to orbit stars more massive than 1.5 M ? and provide valuable additional information about the properties of planets around stars more massive than the Sun, the study reads.
It's the largest single announcement of planets in orbit around stars more massive than the sun, aside from the discoveries made by the Kepler mission, the lead author, John Asher Johnson, said.
The Kepler mission, incidentally, has so far identified more than 1,200 possible planets and these 18 new discoveries could add to it, once they are completely confirmed.
According to the researchers, the latest findings advocate a theory called Core Accretion, in which the planets grow from tiny seed particles that accumulate gas and dust in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a newborn star.
It's nice to see all these converging lines of evidence pointing toward one class of formation mechanisms, Johnson said.