January 15, 2014
We’re still learning a lot about how planets form around other stars. Over a thousand (!) such exoplanets have been found, giving us a pretty good sample to poke around with. We’ve seen big planets, little planets, hot planets, cold planets, and rogue planets, and we’ve seen them around small stars, big stars, dead stars, and binary stars.
The funny thing is, we know most stars form in clusters, condensing out of giant gas clouds en masse. Yet we haven’t found very many planets orbiting stars in clusters. Any time a new one is found, it’s important.
And now we can add three more to the roster! Not only that, but one is orbiting a star that is very much like our Sun, enough to be called a solar twin. That’s quite interesting indeed.