Seven-planet solar system discovered orbiting dwarf star

Oct 25, 2013
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Seven-planet solar system discovered orbiting dwarf star

Astronomers have announced the discovery of one of the largest planetary systems ever found. Astronomers recently discovered a seventh planet orbiting around dwarf star called KIC 11442793. Two different groups of researchers studying the same planetary system believe this could be a record.

The astronomers say that the planetary system has some similarities compared to our own. However, all seven planets orbit much closer to the host star than planets in our solar system orbit the sun. The solar system is about 2500 light years away from the Earth.

One of the planets in the solar system was discovered by volunteers using the Planet Hunters website. The website was designed to allow volunteers to sift through huge amounts of data collected by the Kepler space telescope. The mission of Kepler is to discover new planets orbiting distant stars. Astronomers say this is the first seven-planet system discovered by Kepler. The newly discovered planet is the fifth furthest from the parent star and orbits the star about every 125 days.

The planet has a radius believed to be about 2.8 times the radius of the Earth. The solar system in question includes two planets that are roughly the same size as the Earth, three super-Earth planets and two that are even larger. The astronomers say that the solar system is arranged much like ours with small planets on the inside and larger planets on the outside. All seven planets would fit within the Earth's distance from the sun. In April, Kepler discovered three planets orbiting within their host star's habitable zone.

SOURCE: BBC


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