Solar System Similar to Our Own Discovered

26 Aug

A solar system with a possibility of seven planets orbiting their parent star has been confirmed by scientists.
The parent star, known as HD 10180, lies in the southern constellation of Hydrus 127 light years away.

Astronomers patiently studied it for six years using a planet-finding instrument called the HARPS spectrograph, attached to ESO’s 3.6 metre (11.8ft) telescope at La Silla, Chile.

From 190 individual HARPS measurements, they were able to detect tiny wobbles in the star’s motion caused by the gravitational tugs of its planets.

The five strongest signals corresponded to planets with Neptune-like masses, between 13 and 25 times that of the Earth.

These planets, with orbit periods ranging from six to 600 days, are separated from their star at 0.06 to 1.4 times the distance between the Earth and sun.

Dr Lovis added: ”We also have good reasons to believe that two other planets are present. One would be a Saturn-like planet (with a minimum mass of 65 Earth masses) orbiting in 2,200 days. The other would be the least massive exoplanet ever discovered, with a mass of about 1.4 times that of the Earth.

”It is very close to its host star, at just 2 per cent of the Earth-sun distance. One ‘year’ on this planet would last only 1.18 Earth days.”

The planet would be rocky, like the Earth, but probably far too hot to sustain life.

With at least five Neptune-sized planets circling inside an orbit equivalent to that of Mars, the HD 10180 system has a more populated inner region than our solar system.

In the sceme of things 127 light years is not all that far. 

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