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News Release 72 of 211

October 4, 2006 01:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2006-34

Hubble Finds Extrasolar Planets Far Across Galaxy

A NASA Science Update Release

October 4, 2006: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered 16 extrasolar planet candidates orbiting a variety of distant stars in the central region of our Milky Way galaxy.

The planet bonanza was uncovered during a Hubble survey, called the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS). Hubble looked farther than has ever successfully been searched for extrasolar planets. Hubble peered at 180,000 stars in the crowded central bulge of our galaxy 26,000 light-years away or one-quarter the diameter of the Milky Way's spiral disk. The results will appear in the Oct. 5 issue of the journal Nature.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, K. Sahu (STScI) and the SWEEPS Science Team