Alien Nine ExoPlanet Star Confirmed? HD 10180 to Top Eight-Planet Solar System
HD 10180 planetary system (Artist's Impression)

A star, HD 10180, located around 127 light-years away and located using the radical velocity method or Doppler wobble may have nine major planets thereby crossing the Solar System's eight official planet numbers.

It was in the year 2010 that the HD 10180 captured the attention of astronomers and researchers across the world as five such significant shifts in starlight related to planets between 13 and 25 times the mass of Earth were found orbiting the star.

The find "highlights the fact that we are now entering a new era in exoplanet research: the study of complex planetary systems and not just of individual planets," team leader Christophe Lovis said in a press release at that time.

However, a new study has indicated that the HD 10180 might harbour nine and not five exoplanets thereby surpassing the sun's own eight planet number.

The researchers re-analysed the High Accuracy Planet Searcher (HARPS) radial velocities of HD 10180 on a European Southern Observatory telescope in Chile and calculated the probabilities of models with differing numbers of periodic signals in the data. They then test the significance of the seven signals, corresponding to seven exoplanets orbiting the star, in the Bayesian framework and perform comparisons of models with up to nine periodicities.

As per their findings, there is evidence for up to nine planets orbiting HD 10180, which would make this star a record holder in having more planets in its orbits than there are in the Solar system.

"There certainly is, according to my results, strong evidence that this is the most populous planetary system detected-possibly even richer than the solar system," the National Geographic quoted study leader Mikko Tuomi, an astronomer at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K saying.

There are hints that the planetary system also hosts a world roughly the mass of Saturn with 65 earth masses. Saturn is 95 Earth masses, Uranus is roughly 14, Neptune is about 17 and Jupiter is almost 318 Earth masses.

To verify the study reports, the researchers are now planning to take further measurements of the star. Apart from this, they are also planning to scan the skies to find other such similarly crowded planetary systems.