New Planets Found; Have Backward Orbits
"Bombshell" discovery could reduce the chances for Earthlike worlds.
(Related: "'Backward' Planet Has Density of Foam Coffee Cups.")
What's more, the discovery of these odd exoplanets challenges a leading theory for the formation of planets known as hot Jupiters, which in turn means that fewer Earthlike planets may exist in the universe. (See "The Search for New Earths" in National Geographic magazine.)
"This is a real bomb we are dropping into the field of exoplanets," study co-author Amaury Triaud, a Ph.D. student at the Observatory of Geneva in Switzerland, said in a press statement.
First discovered 15 years ago, hot Jupiters are exoplanets with masses greater than