The discovery of nine new planets this week, spotted with the help of astronomers Tim Lister and Rachel Street who work with the Goleta-based Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, is challenging the reigning theory of how planets are formed. Two of the newly discovered planets, unlike our solar system’s celestial bodies, are orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star. The planets—dubbed “Hot Jupiters” because of their gas compositions—are revolving around stars within 1,000 light-years of our galaxy. They were found in the constellations Pegasus, Virgo, Pisces, and Andromeda in the northern hemisphere, and Eridanus, Hydra, Cetus, and Phoenix in the southern hemisphere.


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