Alien worlds suggest Earth-like planets

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London, Nov 1 (UNI) A team of British astronomers have discovered three new planets, larger than Jupiter, orbiting their own stars beyond the galaxy.

The discovery of earth-like alien worlds will be announced by the Wide Area Search for Planets (WASP) project and have been named WASP-3, WASP-4 and WASP-5 respectively.

''All three planets are similar to Jupiter, but are orbiting their stars so closely that their 'year' lasts less than two days.

These are among the shortest orbital periods yet discovered,'' The Telegraph quoted Prof Andrew Cameron of St Andrews University as saying.

''But the finding of Jupiter-mass planets around other stars supports the idea that there are also many Earth-sized planets waiting to be discovered as astronomers' technology improves,'' he said.

The alien worlds are believed to be among the hottest planets ever spotted, with surface temperatures rising to more than 2000 degrees Celsius , making extra-terrestrial life impossible.

The WASP project is the most ambitious in the world designed to discover large planets and relies on ''super cameras'' that monitor millions of stars in the sky.

WASP-3 is the third planet that the team has found in the North, using the SuperWASP camera sited in the Canary Islands.

''We are the only team to have found transiting planets in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres; for the first time we have both SuperWASP cameras running, giving complete coverage of the whole sky,'' Dr Don Pollacco, of Queen's University Belfast said.

The discoveries by scientists at Queen's University Belfast and St Andrew's University in Scotland add to two previous planets spotted by the Super Wide Angle Search for Planets (SuperWasp) project team.

More than 200 planets have now been discovered beyond our solar system.


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