Almost 55 per cent of hot Jupiters might not exist, researchers reported in the Extreme Solar Systems III conference in Hawaii earlier this week.
The announcement is not guesswork, but is based on a 5-year study of alien worlds discovered by The Kepler mission. A brief article in Science says:
“Kepler identifies exoplanets by staring at a large number of stars for extended periods and waiting for their brightness to dip periodically when a planet passes in front of them. But these dips can be caused by a number of effects so need to be confirmed by other methods.”
The article goes on to explain the method used in the current study:
“A team using the SOPHIE spectrograph on a 1.93-meter telescope at the Haute-Provence Observatory in France spent 5 years studying 129 of Kepler’s bigger candidates using a different method: looking for the slight movement of a star as a planet’s gravity tugs it around.”