60 new planets found on galactic doorstep

Astronomers find SIXTY new planets orbiting stars near our solar system

Astronomers find SIXTY new planets orbiting stars near our solar system

The stargazers uncovered 60 new planets including a hot rocky "super-Earth" called Gilese 411b which is the fourth nearest in the star system to the sun.

One planet - Gliese 411-b - strongly resembles Earth and tells researchers that it is possible for stars close to the sun to have their own planets with orbits potentially supporting alien life.

Dr. Mikko Tuomi, who led the study, said: 'It is fascinating to think that when we look at the nearest stars, all of them appear to have planets orbiting them.

"This is something astronomers were not convinced about, even as little as five years ago".

Along with the 60 new planets, the researchers found additional evidence of a further 54 planets, bringing the total number of potential new worlds to 114.

A hot "super-Earth" with a rocky surface located in the fourth nearest star system to the sun was among the extrasolar planets discovered.

A global group of astronomers has discovered what they're called a "super-Earth" and it's not too far from our own solar system.

The results have come to light after 61,000 individual observations of 1,600 stars were taken over a 20-year period by United States astronomers.

Research by a team of global scientists has found 54 potential planets.

"Keck-I telescope and its instruments have been wonderful tools in establishing the current consensus that virtually all stars have planets orbiting them".

They say the planets are in our "immediate Solar neighborhood" but that Gliese 411b is of particular interest.

Dr. Butler hailed this as "crowning" his achievements as an astronomer. "It represents a good chunk of my life's work".

Matt Mountain standing on Mauna Kea in Hawaii facing the Keck Observatory.

The twin Keck Observatory telescopes are the world's largest and most scientifically productive optical and infrared telescopes.

'These new planets also help us better understand the formation processes of planetary systems and provide interesting targets for future efforts to image the planets directly'.