Asked by Emmett Connell
Following Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet, the last planet in our Solar System to be discovered from Earth was Neptune in 1846. However, the last exoplanet discovered using ground-based telescopes came at the end of March. Recently, new data from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), Subaru and Keck telescopes has highlighted five new planets orbiting three different stars.
New exoplanets are found regularly with the total approaching 2,000. After studying data from surveys done on exoplanets we are now of the belief that planets are a fairly common occurrence around stars. This revelation has led to speculation on the possible presence of life in the universe. While some of these planets share similar characteristics with our own, further extensive research needs to be done.
Answered by Josh Barker from the National Space Centre
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