32 New Exoplanets Discovered

New finds signal that cosmos harbors wealth of planets
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2009 3:23 AM CDT
An artist's impression of a newly discovered planet that orbits the star Gliese 667.   (European Southern Observatory)

(Newser) – European astronomers have discovered 32 new planets in other solar systems, bringing the total of known exoplanets to over 400. The planets—which range in size from five times the size of Earth to five times the size of Jupiter—were found circling a variety of stars. The new discoveries support theories that planets are relatively common in our galaxy.

None of the new finds are believed to be suitable for life, but the astronomers expect that their instruments will be able to detect Earth-like planets within another decade.  "I am convinced that planets are everywhere," one researcher told the Washington Post. "Nature does not like void and is especially efficient in filling up the holes."