Using NASA's orbiting Hubble telescope, astronomers found between eight and 16 new planets near the center of the Milky Way that orbit their parent stars in as few as 10 hours. Their findings will be published on Thursday in the scientific journal Nature.
At 26,000 light-years away, they are the most distant planets yet found and a further indicator others are probably scattered throughout the Milky Way, said those involved in the project, reports Reuters.
"Discovering the very short-period planets was a big surprise," said team leader Kailash Sahu of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. "Our discovery also gives very strong evidence that planets are as abundant in other parts of the galaxy as they are in our solar neighbourhood."
Extrapolated to the entire galaxy, the Hubble result provides strong evidence for the existence of about six billion Jupiter-sized planets in the Milky Way. The findings will be published on Thursday in the scientific journal Nature.
About 200 planets have been discovered outside the solar system so far, including gas giants eight times closer to their parent stars than Mercury is to the sun, a ccording to Globe and Mail.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.