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Alien Planet Around Solar Twin Found in Distant Star Cluster, a First (Video)

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posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 10:26 PM

Scientists using a powerful telescope in Chile have found an alien planet circling a star that is nearly identical to the sun and located in a star cluster 2,500 light-years from Earth.

The discovery marks the first time that scientists have found an exoplanet circling a solar twin in a star cluster, according to European Southern Observatory officials, the group that operates the telescope instrument that made the discovery. Scientists used ESO's HARPS telescope instrument to find the exoplanet, which is a little smaller than Jupiter and takes seven days to orbit its star. The strange world, along with two other exoplanets also found by the HARPS instrument, are located in Messier 67, a star cluster populated by about 500 stars.

ESO scientists also created a video explanation of the sunlike-star's alien planet, as well as the discovery of two other exoplanets that were found in the same study. While exoplanets have been found in star clusters before, this is the first time one has been found circling a sun twin in a cluster. [The Strangest Alien Planets (Gallery)]

In all, the scientists found three planets orbiting three different stars in the cluster. Aside from the solar twin and its planet, the researchers also found another planet one-third the size of Jupiter circling a sunlike star and a planet larger than Jupiter circling a massive red giant star.

Two of the three planets are planets that are somewhat like Jupiter in size, but orbit closer to their host stars, ESO officials said. All three of the planets are too close to their parent stars for liquid water to exist, ESO officials added.

"The new results are in contrast to earlier work that failed to find cluster planets, but agrees with some other more recent observations. We are continuing to observe this cluster to find how stars with and without planets differ in mass and chemical makeup."

Video of Explanation

Three planets gave been spotted orbiting stars in the Messier 67 star cluster. This is the first observation of planets orbiting stars in a star cluster and could lead to new insights on planet formation and planetary systems.

First Ever Planets Orbiting Stars In A Star Cluster Discovered, One Planet Orbits A Star Nearly Identical To The Sun

In an open cluster of stars about 2,500 light-years from Earth, scientists have discovered three new exoplanets, including one that orbits a star almost identical to our sun.

Although scientists have confirmed 1,000 exoplanets in the last several years, this is the first time they have ever seen one orbiting what's known as a "solar twin" in a cluster of stars.

Detecting planets in star clusters has not been easy, and most of the exoplanets discovered so far have been found orbiting lonely stars that live in relative isolation.

Our sun's distant twin has an orbiting planet

Did a quick search and was surprised this wasn't posted yet so I did for those that may find this interesting
If it happens to be a duplicate, please delete and accept my apologies

edit on 15-1-2014 by snarky412 because: add links

edit on 15-1-2014 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-1-2014 by snarky412 because: add video

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by snarky412

Great thread!!!!!

posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 12:10 AM


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