Astronomers discover alien solar system much like our own

Jul 26, 2012
14
Astronomers discover alien solar system much like our own

Astronomers have discovered an alien solar system that looks very much like our own solar system. According to the scientists, the discovery suggests that all solar systems may start out looking very similar. The solar system in question is called Kepler-30 and is 10,000 light-years from Earth. The solar system has three known worlds all orbiting in the same plane aligned with the rotation of the star.

The solar system has three known extrasolar planets circling a Sun-like star. The planets are named Kepler-30b, Kepler-30c, and Kepler-30d. All three planets are much larger than Earth with two of the alien worlds being more massive than Jupiter. The alien solar system was detected in January using the Kepler space telescope.

The scientists believe that Kepler-30's planets likely formed from a spinning disk of dust and gas around the star. The Kepler-30 star is much like the sun and even has starspots. One such starspot was used by the researchers to determine that all three planets were transiting the same location on the sun repeatedly. That observation allowed the scientists to determine that the orbits of planets must be coplanar and aligned closely with the star's spin.

[via Mashable]


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