Second Planetary System Like Ours Discovered


A team of European astronomers has discovered a second planetary system, the closest parallel to our own solar system yet found. It includes seven exoplanets orbiting a star with the small rocky planets close to their host star and the gas giant planets further away. The system was hidden within the wealth of data from the Kepler Space Telescope.

KOI-351 is “the first system with a significant number of planets (not just two or three, where random fluctuations can play a role) that shows a clear hierarchy like the solar system — with small, probably rocky, planets in the interior and gas giants in the (exterior),” Dr. Juan Cabrera, of the Institute of Planetary Research at the German Aerospace Center, told Universe Today.

Three of the seven planets orbiting KOI-351 were detected earlier this year, and have periods of 59, 210 and 331 days — similar to the periods of Mercury, Venus and Earth.

Written By: Shannon Hall
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  1. I had to look up one of the key features of this system. It has a main sequence star like our Sun at its centre.

    Kepler-90 (also KOI-351) is a main-sequence star with a planetary system that has the largest number of observed exoplanets in the Milky Way. It is approximately 2,500 light years away from Earth. Kepler-90 has seven planets, with rocky planets nearer and gas giants further away. This is similar to our Solar System. The five inner planets are either super-Earths or mini- Neptunes due to their size. The two outer planets are gas giants. The outermost of the seven previously discovered planet orbits the star at about the same distance as the earth the sun. Kepler-90 is designated as KOI-351. During its observation from 2008-2013 it provided evidence for the existence of exoplanets using the transit method which shows the size of a planet but not its mass. The planets are named based on their distance to the star. Kepler-90 b is the innermost and Kepler-90 h the outermost of the seven known planets.

  2. It’s roughly the same size and temperature as our star, so all those rocky planets will be scorched balls of rock. Best hope for life in that system would be on a satellite of the outer gas giant.

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