In news that is simply out of this world, Stargazing Live viewers have discovered four brand new planets orbiting a yellow parent star – the biggest discovery in the show’s history and one that has caused excitement in the scientific community.
The FMA-produced series for the ABC, which has been a long-running BBC format, last night revealed the newly discovered system is in the constellation of Aquarius. It is 600-light years away and the planets are each between two and three times the size of Earth.
Professor Brian Cox says, “I couldn’t be more excited about these discoveries - in the seven years I’ve been making Stargazing Live this is the most significant scientific discovery we’ve made. The results are a wonderful and intriguing surprise.”
It is a new solar system, and one that scientists didn’t know existed until yesterday.
More than ten thousand viewers from all around Australia logged on to abc.net.au/stargazing to help analyse the data that identified the new solar system.
The discovery was made using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, in collaboration with the Zooniverse project and with scientists at the University of California Santa Cruz and at Caltech.
Congratulations to FMA Executive Producer Lara Hopkins and her team for producing one of the year’s standout science programs.
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