Sunday, February 1, 2015
Sunday Science Blog
RESEARCHERS DISCOVER AN ANCIENT REPLICA OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
From Popular Science:
Deep within the bowels of our Milky Way Galaxy, there is another solar system that is like a miniature replica of our own. Except this planetary system is just a tad older — by about 7 billion years.
Using images and data collected by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, an international team of researchers discovered an ancient solar system around the star Kepler-444. It is estimated to be a whopping 11.2 billion years old. By comparison, researchers believe our own solar system is just 4.6 billion years old. That means that when our sun was born, the Kepler-444 star system was already older than our sun is now. It also means Kepler-444 formed shortly after the Milky Way Galaxy coalesced 13.2 billion years ago.
“It’s an old member of the galaxy, and its age made us very excited,” Sarbani Basu, a professor of astronomy at Yale and one of the researchers, tells Popular Science. “This planet system formed when the Milky Way was very, very young.” Basu and her team published their findings today in The Astrophysical Journal.
TABLE OF CONFIRMED PLANETS
KEPLER'S CONFIRMED PLANTS