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2 'hot Jupiters' found in star cluster: Nasa

Published on Sep 15, 2012 8:28 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States (US) scientists have for the first time found proof that planets can form and survive around sun-like stars within dense star clusters, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) said on Friday.

Astronomers have spotted two Jupiter-like orbs in the Beehive Cluster, a collection of around 1,000 stars that appear to be swarming around a common center.

"This has been a big puzzle for planet hunters," said Mr Sam Quinn, a graduate student in astronomy at Georgia State University in Atlanta and the lead author of the paper describing the results.

"We know that most stars form in clustered environments like the Orion Nebula, so unless this dense environment inhibits planet formation, at least some sun-like stars in open clusters should have planets.

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