Earth-like planets could be quite common

Posted on Sunday, Sep 10 2006 @ 14:11 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Scientists say that new computer models are telling them that more than a third of the star systems containing Jupiter-like gas giants may also harbor Earth-like planets.
The latest work focuses on a type of star system that contains gas giants known as hot Jupiters.

Unlike gas giants in our solar system, hot Jupiters have orbits that swing tightly around their stars, says Sean Raymond, study co-author and astrophysicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Scientists believe that hot Jupiters initially form far from their host stars. Over time the gas giants migrate inward due to the irregular twisting motions of the gaseous disks in which they formed.

As they move into their near-star orbits, hot Jupiters could be playing violent games of planetary billiards that produce Earthlike planets, he says.
Read on over at National Geographic.

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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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