Astronomers Discover Rare Synchronized Solar System with Six Planets
A team of astronomers has made a remarkable discovery, finding a rare synchronized solar system with six planets that move like a great cosmic orchestra. The planets have remained untouched by external forces since their birth billions of years ago.
The discovery, announced yesterday, may help explain how solar systems in the Milky Way arose. Located 100 light years from the constellation of Coma Berenices, the star, known as HD 110067, may have even more planets. The six planets found so far are about two or three times the size of Earth, but with densities closer to the gas giants in our solar system. Their orbits range from nine to 54 days, which puts them closer to their star than Venus is to the Sun, making them extremely hot.
None of the perfectly synchronized planets are in the star’s so-called habitable zone, which means little or no chance of life, at least as we know it. “Here we have a golden objective for comparison,” highlighted Adrien Leleu, from the University of Geneva, who was part of an international team that published the results in the journal Nature.
The solar system in question is unique because the six planets move similar to a perfectly synchronized symphony, displaying a precise and very orderly resonance. This phenomenon is rare, with only an estimated one in 100 systems retaining such synchrony.
A pair of planet-hunting satellites, Tess from NASA and Cheops from the European Space Agency, joined in for the observations. Although the discovery is groundbreaking, more observations are needed to determine what is in the planets’ atmospheres.
While astronomers know of between 40 and 50 synchronized solar systems, none have as many planets in such perfect passage or a star as bright as the one found. The discovery sheds new light on the formation and evolution of solar systems and raises intriguing questions about the potential for life in the universe.
(Taken from La Jornada)