Astronomers discover a replica solar system – Astrobiology Magazine


photo - Kepler 444

Kepler 444

via Astronomers discover a replica solar system – Astrobiology Magazine.

Scientists have located an ancient solar system, dating back to the dawn of the galaxy, which appears to be a miniature version of the inner planets in our own solar system. – See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/deep-space/new-planets/astronomers-discover-replica-solar-system/#sthash.P9Kipf7e.dpuf

The old, Sun-like star, named Kepler-444, has five orbiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. Kepler-444 formed 11.2 billion years ago, when the universe was less than 20% of its current age. This makes Kepler-444 the oldest known system of terrestrial-sized planets. The Kepler-444 system was already older than our own solar system is today when our Sun and planets were born. – See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/deep-space/new-planets/astronomers-discover-replica-solar-system/#sthash.P9Kipf7e.dpuf

“This system shows that planet formation could take place under very different conditions from the ones in which our solar system was formed and has implications for estimating the total number of planets in our galaxy, and other galaxies,” Basu said.

The five planets in the Kepler-444 system have orbits that are equivalent to less than one-tenth of Earth’s distance from the Sun. The Kepler-444 planets are rocky and Earth-like, but their exact compositions are uncertain.

– See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/deep-space/new-planets/astronomers-discover-replica-solar-system/#sthash.P9Kipf7e.dpuf

The scientists carried out their research using asteroseismology — listening to the host star’s natural resonances, which are caused by sound trapped within it – See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/deep-space/new-planets/astronomers-discover-replica-solar-system/#sthash.P9Kipf7e.dpuf

The planets were then detected from the dimming that occurs when the planets transited, or passed across, the stellar disk. – See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/deep-space/new-planets/astronomers-discover-replica-solar-system/#sthash.P9Kipf7e.dpuf

“We now know that Earth-sized planets have formed throughout most of the universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, which could provide scope for the existence of ancient life in the galaxy.” – See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/deep-space/new-planets/astronomers-discover-replica-solar-system/#sthash.P9Kipf7e.dpuf

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